Updated 05/17/2012 02:03 PM
BBB warns businesses about telecom bill scam
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GREENSBORO - The Better Business Bureau is warning businesses about a new scam circulating the state and country.
A California company is sending out phony bills for telecom maintenance and trying to trick owners into paying it. A Greensboro business got the invoice but with a little research found out it was a scam.
Leons Beauty School owner Parker Washburn says when you run a business, you have to pay attention to details.
Which is why when she got what she thought was a bill from US Telecom in California, for services she didn't remember agreeing to, she called them to find out what it was all about.
“Asked them about the invoice, immediately they became very defensive and said this is not an invoice, you do not see the word invoice anywhere. There's a remittance number there, this is an offer,” Leon's Beauty School Owner Parker Washburn said.
Washburn said her careful eye helped her avoid being scammed out of hundreds of dollars but she worries others won't be so lucky.
“This clearly looked so much like an invoice, it was 30 days net, total amount due,” Washburn said.
The Better Business Bureau said this scam has worked its way across the country over the last year and its targeted everything from schools to businesses.
"So it's targeted to people who are receiving a lot of invoices anyway. They're sending it to people hoping that you'll just be paying your bills and push it through. Because if you look at it, it doesn't say anything about a due date on it, it doesn't say anything about what services have been performed or what services will be performed, it just looks like a bill,” Michael Henson with The Better Business Bureau said.
He said Washburn did the right thing by filing a complaint and now maybe others will be able to avoid the same scam.
“You don't believe that people will try to do this, but the truth is you have to be attentive,” Washburn said.
Officials say the company has an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau. They're asking anyone who gets this bill in the mail the file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or the North Carolina Attorney General.