DA warns of invoice scam
January 31, 2013
The Carson City District Attorney’s Office is warning of a potential scam from US Telecom, an Ontario, Calif.-based company that has allegedly been sending what look like invoices to local governments and businesses. While not stamped with the word “invoice,” the paperwork has resulted in companies and government entities being duped into paying US Telecom $425 for what they later complain is little or nothing in return.“Although I am not aware of any incidents in Carson City, my research indicates there are recent complaints arising out of Southern Nevada as well as the Bay Area and throughout the United States,” said District Attorney Neil Rombardo in a released statement. “I believe it is only a matter of time before these solicitations hit Carson City.”As a part of the D.A.’s new Business Protection Program to assist local business, one of the office’s goals is to advise Carson City’s businesses of potential scams as the office becomes aware of them.A check of the Better Business Bureau’s website indicates US Telecom, 305 N. Sacramento Ave., Ontario, CA, 91764, receives an F rating. This rating is based on more than 800 complaints, the majority of which are based on the company’s potentially misleading solicitation.Both the New York and North Dakota attorney generals have issued cease and desist letters to US Telecom, which is not the same as USTELECOM the Broadband Association.Rombardo offers the following tips to avoid phony bills and invoices:• Look out for solicitations disguised as bills or invoices. Sometimes fake invoices are marked with the notice “This is not a bill,” but not always.• Keep a list of, and know, your vendors, and be wary of any bill or invoice from an unknown vendor.• Have effective internal controls in place for the payment of bills or invoices, and verify all bills or invoices with the person who authorized the purchase.• Check with the BBB Business Review on any business that has contacted you before signing anything or giving any payment or payment information.