The Minnesota Department of Commerce has urged businesses, nonprofits, churches, and other entities to take precautions when dealing with invoices that have come from unknown companies, especially unknown telecom companies.
Fake invoice scams involve fraudsters sending invoices or letters that look legitimate. They are sent out to small businesses and organizations requesting payment for a significant amount of money.
The invoices are hard to distinguish from legitimate ones and usually have very few details about the products and services that are being billed for.
As for how you can identify a fake telecom invoice or any type of fraudulent invoice, it may request payment for a vague service, such as maintenance of a service or a “premium voice mail” service. These invoices are also sent by scammers that are operating under generic names, such as ABC Telecom or Telecom 123.
At the same time, don’t ignore an invoice just because it is presumed as fake. It could be a legitimate request for payment For instance, a debt could be sent to a debt collector and that debt collector could be legit. Many times, a person may not recognize that they owe the debt just because they are not familiar with the name of the collections agency. There is also the unfortunate fact that many debt collection agencies have what could be considered generic names.
If a business suspects that it has received a fake invoice, all previous expenditures should be evaluated and the name of the company who sent the invoice investigated. This will help identify fake invoices and those invoices can be reported. You can also consult with your attorney if you have tried to rectify the situation yourself and find that the company billing you and possibly harassing you is one that is trying to steal money from your pocket or from your business’s bank account.