BBB Alert Regarding Phoney Invoices Hitting Businesses Owners in Multiple States

BBB Alert: Chicago Company Targeting Businesses and Consumers Nationwide

Fake invoices for print advertisements are landing in mailboxes of businesses and consumers nationwide. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois is alerting the public about this alarming trend which includes an operation that is sending out invoices from Chicago.

Complainants allege they are being requested to pay for print advertising they never ordered. They also claim at no time did they engage with the companies prior to receiving the invoice. The amounts due range from $400 – $500 with the balance for most being $495.00.

Steve Bernas, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois advises, “Companies should proceed with caution and double check any unidentified or questionable invoices. Avoid sending out payment or giving out confidential information like account numbers until you verify the money is actually owed, and it’s a real company sending the invoice.”

BBB recommends following these tips:

  • Become trained on this topic. Make sure that the people processing invoices or answering phone calls are aware of this con. Scammers are great at mimicking official seals, fonts and other details. 
  • Create a process for inspecting invoices. Always check that goods or services were both ordered and delivered before paying an invoice. Designate a small group of people with authority to approve purchases, receive shipments, and pay the bills. It’s also a good idea to consolidate your domain registrations with a single registrar, and make sure the domain is registered in your company’s name, not your vendor’s.
  • Review your local United States Postal Inspection Service’s website for tips.

BBB always recommends that you visit before doing business with any company.

Remember to always report scammers.  If you've been the target of a scam or suspect scam activity, report it to authorities and the  BBB Scam Tracker  to warn others.

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About the Author: Carrie Brunner

Carrie Brunner grew up in a small town in northern New Brunswick. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Carrie writes mostly on provincial stories.
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