Your Better Business Bureau is alerting area businesses that they may receive a questionable invoice from a California-based company. The phony bill is actually a solicitation.
Businesses in several states have reported receiving an invoice from “US Telecom” for hundreds of dollars to cover the cost of a one-year maintenance warranty. The business is located in Ontario, California and is also known as UST Development, Inc.
The business has an “F” rating with the BBB serving Los Angeles, California, which has received 143 complaints against the company. Consumers claim that US Telecom is sending deceptive invoices for services never rendered. The company states the invoice is not for services rendered but instead for preventative telephone system maintenance for the year to come. The company also states the invoice includes a disclaimer.
Even a member of our local BBB board of directors received this deceiving notice. Because the best protection against phony bills and invoices is knowledge and vigilance, BBB offers the following tips for businesses:
- Be on the lookout for solicitations disguised as bills. Fake invoices sometimes state “This is not a bill.”
- Carefully review all bills and invoices from companies, especially those that are unfamiliar.
- Keep a list of regularly used vendors.
- Establish effective internal controls for the payment of invoices.
- Verify all invoices with the person who gave purchase authorization.
- Check the BBB Business Review for any business that has contacted you before signing anything or giving out any payment information.
If you believe you have been misled by this business, you can file a complaint at www.bbb.org.