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Office of the Indiana Attorney General

Attorney General > IndianaConsumer.com > Consumer Protection > Scams Against Businesses Scams Against Businesses

Learn how to protect your company

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Scam artists can cost business owners a lot of time and money. Learn what to look for—train your employees to recognize potential scams.

Common Scams Targeting Businesses

  • Telemarketers may call a receptionist and ask for a mailing address to send a free sample, only to send a shipment along with a significant bill claiming that the receptionist authorized the “purchase.”
  • Telemarketers may call a receptionist or maintenance employee representing themselves as your company’s “regular supplier” of business supplies, stating that a price increase is imminent and obtaining authorization for an order that is significantly higher in price than what your regular supplier charges.
  • You may receive a solicitation though the mail that resembles an invoice. If you process and pay this solicitation as an invoice, you may be inadvertently purchasing goods and/or services you didn’t intend to.
  • You may receive a check through the mail, usually in a nominal amount, and commonly for Internet Web site services, Internet directory advertising or yellow pages advertising. If endorsed and deposited, this check authorizes the solicitor to bill you on a monthly basis.

Tips To Reduce The Chances Of Becoming A Victim

  • Educate your employees about scams.
  • Limit those authorized to make telephone purchases, and train those not authorized to make purchases how to handle cold telemarketing calls.
  • Review billing statements & shipments to ensure they were authorized.
  • Review each bill carefully to make sure it is a bill and not a solicitation that resembles an invoice.
  • Do not pay for unsolicited or unauthorized shipments. Federal and state laws allow such shipments to be treated as gifts, and you are not required to pay for or return the unauthorized shipment.
  • Review checks received through the mail carefully for fine print.
  • Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission.

Business Issues

The attorney general's office is mandated by the legislature to handle only consumer complaints against businesses and licensed professionals. The attorney general's office is unable to assist with business-to-business complaints.