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February 12, 13

NEWS / Oregon, Illinois hit by fake invoice scams

Businesses, residences and even government agencies in the states of Illinois and Oregon have been targeted by two unrelated group of scammers who forged invoices to trick them into paying money. Officials in both states are now warning companies and individuals to not make any payments on the invoice before double-checking it with the supposed senders.

Last week, several businesses in Oregon received an official-looking invoice supposedly sent out by the Secretary of State’s Corporate Division informing them that they should provide detailed information about their businesses and pay a Certificate of Minutes preparation fee of $150. The document was titled “Compliance Filings Center – Annual Minutes Compliance Notice” and had the return address listed as 4676 Commercial Street, S. E., Salem, OR, local newspaper Albany Democrat-Herald reports.

Oregon’s Secretary of State’s office soon put out a warning on its website, advising businesses to carefully read any solicitations ostensibly coming from state agency, and informing them that they can prepare annual minutes and corporate records on their own without having to pay any fees. An example of the fake invoice is also available on the website.

An unrelated, but similar scam also took place in Illinois. Last Friday, a company in Monmouth, a city in western Illinois, informed the police that it had received a suspicious invoice requesting $425 for supposed telecom maintenance. The invoice was sent by what turned out to be a fraudulent company called “UST (servicing your telecom need)” with a P.O. Box address in California.

“The scam is targeting businesses, schools, government agencies and in some cases, residences,” Monmouth Deputy Police Chief Joe Switzer noted, as quoted by local newspaper Daily Review Atlas.

Businesses, individuals and even the Illinois Attorney General’s Office received similar hoax invoices in Canton, Bloomington and Galesburg.

The Monmouth Police Department is urging any businesses and individuals to let them know if they receive the fraudulent invoice, while the Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce sent an e-mail to its chamber members warning them not to make any payments on the invoice.

Tags: secretary of state, document,


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