BBB warns businesses about fake invoices

The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan is warning businesses about a company sending out solicitations that appear to be invoices.

The “invoices” include a due date, account number and an amount of $180, payable to Vicco Web LLC.

The mailings look like normal invoices a business might get from a vendor. While there is a disclaimer in the middle of the page that says the mailing is a solicitation and not a bill or statement of amount due, the Better Business Bureau® has heard from a number of businesses who feel the mailing is deceptive.

Some businesses have mistakenly paid the amount believing it was an invoice.

Others came close to falling for the scheme.

“Had our accounts payable department not been vigilant they would have paid an invoice for a company we do not work with,” states a Grand Rapids-based painting company in a complaint to the Better Business Bureau.

It is not clear the extent of web hosting services Vicco Web LLC offers for $180.

Several of the links on the Vicco Web website do not work.

Investigators with the Better Business Bureau visited the Grand Rapids address on the invoice.

The address is a virtual office, that rents space to another virtual office, which rents to a mail forwarding company, which apparently works with the people behind Vicco Web LLC.

BBB has been unable to verify the identity of the owners of Vicco Web, and whether it is connected to several other companies using identical mailings and similar website designs.

“Businesses need to closely examine all mailings or emails that appear to be a bill,” says Phil Catlett, President of the Better Business Bureau Serving Wesrtern Michigan. “Attorneys general from across the country have warned about similar mailings, which are intended to trick businesses into paying a bill they don’t owe, usually to a business they have never heard of.”

The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan has shared the findings of this investigation with state and federal law enforcement agencies for review and possible legal action.

Businesses who receive such a solicitation are urged to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org or to the Better Business Bureau Scamtracker at bbb.org/scamtracker.

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