Old Scam Gets Nasty
A new twist on an old scam is on the rise with hundreds of businesses being conned by a fake billing trick.
Minister for Consumer Affairs, Jane Garrett, has warned companies to check their invoices after a flood of complaints about false bills for advertising that never appeared.
In the past, scammers had sent in their bogus bills hoping they would be paid, with no questions asked by their targets.
But now the con has changed. Those behind it often ring repeatedly, aggressively demanding payment and threatening legal action.
Although the ads are never placed, often the promised publication doesn’t exist and many businesses probably pay in the face of the high pressure tactics used against them.
Over the last 18 months, Consumer Affairs Victoria received almost 300 reports of false billing scams but the department is convinced that the crime is under reported.
Businesses need to be vigilant with their invoices to protect themselves and if they are being pressured on advertising bills they doubt, or can’t track, contact Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Consumer Affairs Minister, Jane Garrett has stated that:
“These cynical schemes bully and intimidate hard working people trying to get ahead.”
“The fake bill is a con artist standard trick – what’s new is they are vigorously chasing the money”
“The amounts being demanded from their targets, which are usually smaller businesses , often run into hundreds of dollars which all adds up.”