Invoice scams can be hard to spot

Throughout March, local media in Williams Lake has teamed up with the RCMP to focus on the top ten scams identified by the BBB.

  • Mar. 28, 2013 3:00 p.m.

Throughout March, local media in Williams Lake has teamed up with the RCMP to focus on the top ten scams identified by the Better Business Bureau.

March is billed as Fraud Awareness Month and each week the Tribune has highlighted two or three from the top 10 scams.

The first week explained advertising trolls, online romance scams, and internet investment fraud. In week two, it was affinity fraud, curbers, which are used-car “traffickers,” and rogue door-to-door contractors.

Last week computer virus fixing schemes and twisted text prices were explored.

In this the final week, pretender invoices and fake complaint emails are discussed.

The BBB says a “pretender scheme” happens when a scammer sends an invoice or bill requesting payment for goods or services.

These invoices may state the recipient is past the due date for payment and threaten that non-payment will affect a credit rating. The invoices are fake and are for goods and services a person has not received or requested.

“For example, you might be sent an invoice for a domain name that is very similar to your current domain name or for a small amount of stationery,” the BBB warns. “The scammer hopes that you don’t notice the difference and just pay the invoice.”

It is important that employees paying invoices check that a purchase order is in place before paying any invoice.

Tribune accountant Phylis LaFlamme says for years she’s seen one particular fake invoice come through.

“We will get one from Yellow Page and it’s usually faxed. Nobody’s contacted you to advertise. The trick is the word page, the real company is Yellow Pages,” LaFlamme explains.

All bogus invoice schemes should be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre.ca.

The fake complaint e-mails are actually a BBB phishing scam.

“Yep, it’s us,” the BBB says. “Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people have received e-mails that very much look like an official notice from the BBB.”

The e-mail subject line will read “Complaint Against Your Business,” and instruct the recipient to either click on a link or open an attachment to get the details.

“If the recipient does either, a malicious virus is launched on their computer. A virus that can steal banking information, passwords and other critical pieces of information needed for cyber-theft.”

Through working with security consultants and federal law enforcement to track down the source of these e-mails, BBB has shut down dozens of hijacked websites.

Anyone who has opened an attachment or clicked a link should run a complete system scan using reputable anti-virus software. And, says the BBB, if the computer is networked with others, all machines in the network need to be scanned.

One of the tools BBB will be using to provide helpful tips is a Twitter hash tag #justincase and encourages Twitter users to add their own tips using the same hashtag.

For more information and resources go to www.mbc.bbb.org/top-ten-scams.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Highway 97 two-vehicle crash near 150 Mile House claims one life

The collision closed the highway at 150 Mile House

Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty chairs an opioid crisis working group pushing for policies to stop the flow of illicit drugs in Canada. (Victoria Police Department photo)
‘The opioid crisis impacts all of us’: Cariboo Prince Geroge MP Todd Doherty

Todd Doherty is co-chair of Conservative Party caucus opioid crisis working group

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)
FRENCH CONNECTION: Skating rink welcomed

This lake one will not last long but is still worth it

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Quesnel Observer.
FOREST INK: New batteries close to industrial level applications

The good news is the hope that this cost should come down each year

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent must come first and last for B.C. industrial projects

UN declaration seen as end to a history of horror stories

FILE  - In this Friday, Jan 1, 2021 file photo, a lorry driver's documents are scanned on a phone as he passes a checkpoint for the train through the Eurotunnel link with Europe in Folkestone, England. One month after Britain made a New Year split from the European Union's economic embrace, businesses that once traded freely are getting used to frustrating checks, delays and red tape. Meat exporters say shipments have rotted in trucks awaiting European health checks. Scottish fishermen have protested at Parliament over the catch they can no longer sell to the continent because of byzantine new paperwork. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
FINLAYSON: Government should focus on strengthening B.C.’s leading export industries

To revive the economy, this piece in the strategy is integral, writes Jock Finlayson

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ready for use at the vaccination center in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb.28, 2021. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

The first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Most Read