Pretender Scam – A business receives an invoice which appears to be from an “authorized” service provider for things like online advertising, webhosting, website domain registration or trademark copywriting services. In all cases, the service is misrepresented and the business is often threatened that they will be put into a collections’ service if they do not pay the invoice.
How to spot the scam: Be wary of final notice invoices that create a false sense of urgency. If you have not heard of the supplier, it may be just a fraudulent invoice. Look out for fine print that states that this document is only a form of advertising and not an invoice — a common tactic of fraudsters. The scam generally becomes easier to spot once the business owner creates their own list of authorized vendors and suppliers and ensure that there are strict controls on purchasing and accounting.