Some New York state agencies, school districts and businesses have been receiving phony invoices for telecom maintenance from a California-based company they never did business with, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said today.
The company, UST, is sending out bills for $425 each for Telecom Maintenance Agreements, he said. It even sent a bill to Schneiderman’s office. The fraudulent invoices have also been sent to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Canal Corp., Department of Transportation, Office of General Services; the city of Auburn, Cayuga County, Police Department; and several North Country school districts.
“Agencies and schools need to be aware that these mailers are nothing but slick attempts to defraud public entities of taxpayer dollars,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
These are some tips offered by the attorney general:—Look out for solicitations disguised as bills. Fake invoices sometimes are marked with the notice “This is not a bill.”—Keep a list of vendors you use regularly. Be wary of bills and invoices from companies you aren’t familiar with.—Verify all invoices with the person who authorized the purchase.—Check the Better Business Bureau’s Business Review before signing anything or providing payment information from any business that has contacted you.
Agencies and businesses that believe they have been misled by the company can file a complaint with Schneiderman’s office at 800-771-7755, or they can contact the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org.
This is a cease-and-desist letter Schneiderman sent to the company:
UST Cease and Desist Ltr