Con Artists Scam Small Businesses, Millions Lost - WBAY

Target 2 Consumer Alert

Con Artists Scam Small Businesses, Millions Lost


A scheme targeting small businesses ended up with millions in losses.

Investigators say a small group of con artists zeroed in on medical groups or companies with fewer than 100 employees.

"The company would receive an invoice in the mail, usually for $600 for two cases of latex gloves," said Edward Kljunich, U.S. Postal Inspector.

But there were problems.
"The quantity they were saying they were shipping was never sent to the companies," said Kljunich.

"If the company did pay the first invoice, they would then generate a second invoice for a larger number, larger quantity, larger amount and send that to that company. If they paid that, they would increase it again."

Inspectors say con artists were charging for items they never sent, and counting on no one in the company noticing.

"There were over $2.6 million in losses and over 1000 victims nationally," said Kljunich.

Investigators say small businesses should thoroughly check out a company before doing business with them.

"Make sure a process is in place so if something comes in, you know what it was and you know what you're paying for--not just sending a payment out for something you don't know you've received or not," said Kljunich.


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