The phony nvoice scam

Anyone had any experience with phony invoices? The other day I learned that our company has paid more than $15,000 over the last two years or so in (probably) phony invoices.

After our manager got the first “bill”, he called the sender and asked who ordered a company ad in their “magazine.” He was given the name of one of our former managers. He contacted the guy, who said he couldn’t recall if he’d placed an order but that he might have. So we paid the bill (about $2,000).

Since then we’ve been getting more bills, from more magazines or newspapers (all in California, we’re in Iowa) and we keep paying them. The ads being placed are not to sell our products or to recruit employees; they’re simply ads stating that we are an equal opportunity employer, with our logo and address.

Some of the names are National Black, Journal, American Veterans Organization, something Jewish something, more names with Black in the title – we get “samples” but they’re pitiful – cheap newsprint rags with obviously reprinted generic articles – one of them was dated 1996!

Boss told me that a couple of times, he told these folks on the phone that we wouldn’t pay and he was threatened with a lawsuit.

I finally downloaded some stuff on scams and showed it to him. He was about to send out another big check but told Accounting to cancel it.

Anyone else had direct experience with these outfits?

(And no, I won’t give you our billing address. But I think we’re in the wrong business.)

aaargh! of course it’s “invoice” – I was so worried about how to spell phony, I screwed up! (Phoney looked right, for a minute.)