Baloney Invoices Eating Businesses across the Country
According to reports filed with your BBB, a business claiming a Maryland P.O. Box has been giving organizations like churches, non-profits and other small businesses heartburn by sending supplies without authorization. After sending the supplies the organizations receive a hefty invoice exceeding $600.
Guess, what? If you didn’t order the supplies and no price was disclosed by the telemarketer – you can keep the supplies “as a gift.” But the company won’t tell you that, so go straight to the FTC and file a complaint. It won’t hurt to file with BBB too.
Your BBB is also seeing a rise in B2B complaints about unauthorized directory listings. Again, if you didn’t place the ad – don’t buy in.
It is against U.S. Postal Service regulations to mail a solicitation designed to appear as an invoice, unless it bears a clear disclaimer identifying it as an unsolicited invoice that is for information purposes only and that it is not a request to pay. The best protection against tactics is knowledge and vigilance.
Businesses should alert their bill-payers to be on the lookout for disguised solicitations; carefully review invoices from unfamiliar companies; establish effective internal controls for the payment of invoices, and verify all invoices with the person who authorized the purchase.
Maryland businesses should report mail fraud to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877 876-2455, 10500 Little Patuxent Pkwy Ste 200, Columbia, MD 21044-3509