BEWARE - Advertising Scam

Pro-forma invoicing is an attempt to trick or bully businesses into paying for goods or services they didn’t order. In the vast majority of cases, pro-forma invoices are for advertising that was never requested.

A client has recently brought to our attention advertising scams happening locally.

The Scam - Your company is requested for advertising (normally using a charity of worthy community project type name) the booklet is never circulated but you are invoiced.

The Scam - You are led to believe you agreed to an advert in a publication, signed a proof and are now given the invoice. They will tell you that another person in the office approved it.

You can request a booklet and this will be provided, some range from looking reasonable to others that have text cut and pasted from websites.

Features of these operators include

  • An unlisted telephone number
  • They offer no physical address
  • They have no website
  • They have several aliases
  • A  number of companies closed down, company is not filing returns
  • If you look at the detail, many are connected, same GST number, email addresses registered addresses are the same

Steps to avoid this happening in your company

  • Have a standardised practice for approving and paying for adverts - Make sure all staff  know this
  • Obtain all contact details - name, publishing company, street address and telephone number
  • Ask about the publication, request a copy of the latest issue, and the audit bureau of circulation for circulation figures

For a list of publications known to be involved in invoicing scams click here. Note they all appear to be worthy causes and keep altering their name slightly.

Two publications our client has come across our NZ Family Health/Whanau Ora Guide and Positive Parenting.

For more information on protecting yourself from this scam see the Commerce Commission's site

 

 

 

 

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