Consumer protection: Beware of ‘this is not a bill’ bills

The Department of Consumer Protection is alerting the public about a business that has sent bogus invoices to companies and organizations in Connecticut. Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris warns businesses and other organizations to avoid this, and similar schemes, by carefully verifying all invoices.

“We’ve received two complaints, and we’re confident that there are others in Connecticut who also received the invoice,” Harris said. “We’re aware that this solicitation has surfaced in other parts of the country as well. Businesses, and other organizations, should be on the lookout for ‘invoices’ from Website Backup, and, unless you verify that you’re actually a customer of this business, don’t send any payment. This solicitation is not acceptable as a means of ‘marketing’ a service, and the company so far has been cooperating with the department in its investigation.”

‘This is not a bill’ bills

To avoid falling for this type of solicitation scheme, or a bogus invoice scam, the department offers the following advice:

  • As in this case, beware of solicitations or promotions disguised as bills. Fake invoices are sometimes marked with the notice, ‘This is not a bill,” or in very small fine print will say, “This is a solicitation.”
  • Review all bills and invoices carefully. Be especially wary of any from companies with whom you are unfamiliar.
  • Know the vendors you use regularly, and keep a list.
  • Have effective internal controls in place for the payment of invoices.
  • Verify all invoices with the person who authorized the purchase.

Anyone who receives an invoice from Website Backup or any other company for unordered, undelivered or unsolicited services is encouraged to file a complaint with the Department of Consumer Protection at [email protected] and, if possible, include a copy of the invoice.

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