An invoice today gets the doctor to pay

Do you work at a doctor’s office? A nonprofit? How about a church, retirement home, or small business? Then you might be interested to hear that the FTC has stopped some scammers targeting businesses and organizations like yours.

Here’s how the schemes worked, according to the FTC: Businesses with names like “American Yellow Group,” “American Yellow Corporation,” or “Medical Yellow Directories” would send bills with the well-known “walking fingers” logo to small businesses and nonprofits all over the U.S. The charges — several hundred dollars’ worth — were for supposed listings in business directories.

The invoices were fake, but the scammers included details — like the name of someone from the targeted organization and a visual of how the listing would appear — to make people believe their employer had already agreed to buy a listing. And the U.S. mailing address for payments simply forwarded checks to Canada, where the scammers were based.

So what if you just ignored the invoices? You’d get more outrageous charges for thousands of dollars, and statements like “COLLECTION WARNING” and “LAST CHANCE TO PROTECT YOUR CREDIT SCORE IN GOOD STANDING!!!” Still not paying? Then you’d get dunning notices from the company, now posing as a debt collector.

Here’s what to know to help protect your organization:

  1. Tell your employer and coworkers. You can send them a link to this blog post and this article, which talks about several small business scams.
  1. Inspect invoices. Larger companies usually have a purchasing department. But even in small businesses, it's wise to designate a point person for office supplies, directory listings, subscriptions, and other things you buy periodically. Tell your staff that all purchasing calls should go through that person and keep a central file of your usual suppliers.
  1. Verify. Check a company out for free at bbb.org, and read the BBB’s report on them. Also try doing an online search using the company name and words like “complaint” or “scam.”
  1. File a complaint. If you’re getting bogus bills, file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint and with the BBB. If the scheme involved the U.S. mail, submit a Mail Fraud Complaint Form to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. You also can alert your state Attorney General.
Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Comments

I did received a fax from them. I did a search and found out they are scammers. I send them back the info in a fax. They stop bothering me.

Lunar sleep is a company that take and stole money from me and 1000 more people

Thank you so much for posting this free advice, especially the IRS scam. Its very comforting to know small business owners have somewhere to turn to for help.

Thanks for the alertness and awareness, that is being disseminated among the masses. We would definitely take a serious note of all these useful information. God bless.

Thank you FTC.

Thanks for the efforts you put into stopping these scammers. I had one calling 7 to 10 times per day (Saturday & Sunday too}. The caller ID came up as Auto Insurance and the number was always 916-347-0717. This went on for over six months. I filed an FTC complaint. On that same day I was working on a project at home and they called 6 times within 3 hours. I called the Attorney General's office in NJ and spoke to an attorney who told me that type of activity was not handled at his level (I called the highest level) but he would give my info to the area that would help. I never heard from anyone but the calls stop immediately after I spoke with the attorney in the Attorney General's top office. It's been a week now and I have not received a call from Auto Insurance since then.

It's scary how organized and thorough some criminals can be. I'm so grateful for all the email alerts the FTC sends out. I really hate feeling like a victim and these help me feel somewhat empowered. Thanks FTC!

My great thanks to all that added the names and phone numbers to watch out for. Here in AZ. there are false phone calls too.

Thank you for the information. I do not give out any information by phone, or otherwise.

Keep the good work, I would really recommend the staff of this program to be recognized as Heroes for good work nationwide.
But what about the corruption in the Dept of Education in handling student loans through the same corruptive collection agency scammers, who trade the accounts among
themselves and make hefty mark up, and they get help from Federal Agencies.

I felt a pain in my back,I went to the ER everything was cool and I tried to tell them I am unemployed.they did pay attention .At the end of my long and painful journey they recommend me to see an other specialist.I do not have insurance I do not have job,it was all about making money,finally the bill came with an amont of $6,856,00 and reducing to $6,160 ,00.This week I got the final notice saying this,"don't let your balance affect your credit score with us.Pay online or call to discuss payment options"I do not have any income at all,how I am going to talk about payment options.

Can u send my cedit report to my email

Get your free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. By federal law, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting bureaus. Watch this FTC video to learn more.

If you find mistakes when you review your credit reports, send letters explaining the mistakes to the 3 credit reporting companies and the businesses involved. This article has information about what to do and has sample letters you can use in your dispute.

thanks for the info about tons of scams. It just so happens I am writing an essay about cyber crime.

great stuff

I might have worked for one on a temp job~years ago. The man running it was creating a phone book of doctors! I quit on 2nd day because he was rude & disrespectful. He said he had a grant to compile this information. I was supposed to read the script verbatim, but it usually didn't work that way. I'll now check out jobs, too!

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