Note to potential scammers: Avoid trying to include the attorney general’s office in your scheme.
A number of misleading invoices have been mailed from a California-based company to school districts and government entities across upstate New York in recent weeks, according to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The fake bills, according to Schneiderman, have requested the recipient pay $425 for a “telecom maintenance agreement” with a company called UST. None of the entities receiving the letter in New York have had any sort of agreement with UST, according to the attorney general’s office.
Schneiderman’s office didn’t have to look very far — one was sent to the Office of the Attorney General.
“Agencies and schools need to be aware that these mailers are nothing but slick attempts to defraud public entities of taxpayer dollars,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “My office will stand ready to pursue individuals who use deceptive practices and schemes to divert taxpayer dollars from their intended destination.”
The AG’s office sent a cease and desist letter to the company. A call to UST was answered by a customer service agent, who asked a reporter to call back when a supervisor was on duty.
Here’s a copy of one of the invoices, courtesy of the AG’s office: