Your Better Business Bureau is alerting business owners of false invoices from Yellow Pages Inc. that were recently faxed to businesses in the service area.
The invoices state the charges are for supposed past due advertising fees and indicate the file is "referred to DEBT COLLECTORS". All invoices forwarded to the BBB show $496.95 is payable immediately. Vendor and order ID numbers may vary depending on the type of business.
"Con artists send their scams out in bulk, using company names that are similar to legitimate and well-known businesses with the hope of fooling those that are customers of the real company," said Frank Cilona, President of the Better Business Bureau. "Always double check that something is owed, before paying."
Your BBB offers the following tips for phony invoice schemes:
- Educate your staff, particularly those responsible for paying invoices about the variety of scams involving phony invoices and solicitations.
- Channel all invoices through one department.
- Carefully read all invoices and solicitations which are sent to your company and verify with the person who gave written or verbal authorization.
- Check your records to confirm claims of previous business dealing with a company or seller. Do not be alarmed by language indicating that an unfamiliar unpaid invoice will be forwarded to a collection agency. If your business did not order or place an order with a company, you are not responsible for paying the invoice.
- In a dispute, if the invoicing company says it has a tape recording of an order, insist on hearing it.
- If you become aware of the scheme only after payment has been made on the fraudulent invoice, immediately contact the Chief Postal Inspector, your local police department, and the Better Business Bureau.
- When in doubt, check it out. Businesses can call your BBB at 800-362-0494 or visit the website at www.bbb.org/canton.
For more information or to schedule an interview with BBB spokesperson, contact Kimberly Thompson at 800-362-0494 x118.