Scam Alert: Check invoices

April 27, 2008 

THE SCAM: Office supplies

HOW IT WORKS: A small subset of frauds is known as invoice scams. With variations, they involve sending official looking invoices to consumers to make them think they've ordered something and need to pay, even if no such merchandise was bought. A particular invoice scam targets offices, especially those that run through a lot of paper, toner cartridges and other supplies. In this scam, an accounts or expenses department gets an invoice for office supplies, along with a bill. When the bill is paid, this scam works in two ways: Delivering supplies of poor quality on a regular basis after the initial payment -- with more invoices -- or simply pocketing money from the bogus charges.

WHAT'S AT STAKE: Your money

HOW TO BEAT IT: If you're in an office setting that receives invoices, check carefully before paying. Match the invoice to supplies and check that it comes from a vendor with an established reputation.

Contact Bee staff writer Ben van der Meer at bvandermeer@modbee.com or 578-2331.

For past Scam Alerts, go to www.modbee.com/business/scam.

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