The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) recently received six complaints about an invoice scam that is targeting businesses. An entity claiming to be The American Yellow Group has been sending invoices to businesses threatening collection action. The American Yellow Group bares resemblance to the well-known company Yellow Pages, using a near-identical logo. The two companies, however, are not related.
The sample invoice that DCP received (pictured above) contains various information that should raise red flags for businesses. The invoice here warns about the “last chance to protect your credit score” and is headlined as a collection warning.
If a company or individual is asking you to pay for something that doesn’t seem right, or is unfamiliar, follow these tips:
- Avoid businesses that use pressure tactics or phrases like “Act Now” or “Last Chance.” A reputable business will give sufficient notice that a payment is due.
- Never give money or confidential information, including financial information, to an entity that you don’t recall doing business with. If you are unsure whether or not you owe the company money, contact them based on information you knew to be accurate before you received the questionable invoice, and speak with their billing department.
- If you receive something from a company you do not know, be alert to information that brings the legitimacy of the company into question such as an unfamiliar location, unreasonable pressure tactics, or plagiarism of another company’s logo, signage, or slogans.