Phony Invoice Scams on the Rise
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Scammers are sending out fake invoices to business and government agencies, hoping that people will simply pay the bogus bills without checking them out.
For example, businesses across the country are reporting getting phony invoices demanding $425 in payment for telecom maintenance from a company called UST or US Telecom. State government agencies in North Carolina have recently received 25 of the bogus invoices. When contacted, the company claims the invoices were designed to solicit new business—something they’re supposed to disclose on the mailing under federal law.
To combat the scam, do a little detective work if you get a questionable invoice. Contact our office and ask if we’ve received any complaints about the company. Search the company’s name online, and add the word “scam” to the search to see what pops up. Contact the company that issued the invoice, and ask around within your company or agency. If you can’t find anyone who knows about the company or the services it allegedly provided, put away that checkbook.
If you spot a phony invoice scam, report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or filing a complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov