This scam targets business owners and their employees. The scammers attempt to fool employees into paying for products that the business didn’t order and that may not even exist. Fake invoices can be for any product or service; the most common are office supplies, website or domain hosting services, and directory listings (which may be referred to as a “renewal”).
How the Scam Works:
Many versions of the invoice scam have been reported, but the general con remains the same. The business receives a letter or email with an official-looking invoice. The person in charge of processing invoices at the business isn’t aware of the scam, so the bill is handled normally and paid without further investigation.
Perhaps the most intimidating is an invoice from a local, state/provincial or federal government agency for some kind of local fee, tax, or other official assessment required to stay in compliance with the law. These are sometimes stamped “Past Due” or are accompanied by threatening phone calls.
Tips to Spot This Scam:
To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker.
To learn how to protect yourself, go to “10 Steps to Avoid Scams”.
Last Reviewed: March 7, 2017