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Be wary of fake telecom invoices

The Minnesota Department of Commerce urges businesses, churches and nonprofits to take extra precaution when handling invoices from unfamiliar telecom companies.

Fake invoice scams are letters masquerading as invoices. They are sent out to a wide array of small businesses and other organizations requesting payment, often for hundreds of dollars.

The letters are hard to distinguish from legitimate invoices and usually contain very few details about the services or products being paid for.

A fake telecommunications invoice may request payment for vague services such as "telecommunication maintenance" or a "premium voice mail agreement." These invoices will be sent by scammers operating under generic names, such as "U.S. Telecom Services" or "Global Telecom Providers."

Don't ignore an invoice under the assumption that it is fake. It could actually be a legitimate payment request. It is also possible for illegitimate debts to be sent to debt collection agencies.

If organizations suspect they have received a fake invoice, they should review previous expenditures and investigate the name of the company that sent the payment request.

Consumers that have received suspicious telecommunications invoices should contact the department at telecom.commerce@state.mn.us or (651) 296-4026 or the Minnesota Attorney General's office at 1-800-657-3787.

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