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Consumer Alert: Scam targets small business owners

A warning to small business owners. If you're not paying attention to the bills you receive, you could fall victim to a popular scam. The end result is a hit to your bottom line and a jackpot for the scam artist.

The scam involved light bulbs.

"The suspect in this investigation sent out invoices for light bulbs that were not ordered and that were often not received by the victim companies," said Jason Crowe, a US Postal Inspector.

By examining hundreds of invoices and bank records, postal inspectors identified 800 victims, and as for those light bulbs?

"They were grossly overpriced," said Crowe.

So why would a business end up paying an invoice for a product it never ordered?

"Because the accounts payable department and the local stores aren't in sync with what the other is doing," said Crowe.

Some Advice:
-Be Vigilant
-If you get a bill, make sure it's from a vendor you recognize
-Always be aware of who you are dealing with

"Keep good records. Second, don't be afraid to ask good questions and third, report scams when you see them," said Adam Reeves, Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Total losses in this scam- three million dollars.

The suspect was convicted and sentenced to four- years in prison, and ordered to pay more than 100-thousand dollars in restitution.


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