MADISON (WKOW) -- State consumer officials are asking business owners and city governments to be on the lookout for solicitations masked as invoices of telecommunications services.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) says some businesses and city government offices around the state have recently received $425 invoices for a "telecom maintenance agreement" from a company in California, despite having made no purchases from the business.
Consumer Protection Bureau has received written complaints from the cities of
Eau Claire and Racine and businesses in Waupun, Green Bay and Elkhorn. The invoices were received on March 28 and 29.
The invoices are actually sales pitches for future services. Without questioning the validity of the document, businesses and agencies are at risk of paying for an expense that did not occur.
DATCP has sent the company an official warning concerning their violations of state and federal laws prohibiting solicitations disguised as bills. The fraudulent invoices were also sent to companies in North Dakota in February.
Officials say if you have recently received an invoice for a "telecom maintenance agreement," be aware that it may be a solicitation. Make sure that your billing department knows if your organization has had any transactions with the sender before you consider making any payments.
If you received an invoice but did not make a purchase from the company, contact Consumer Protection to file a written complaint. You can also download a complaint form or file a complaint online or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-422-7128.
Click here to view a scan of a fake invoice received by a Wisconsin business.
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