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#68107 - 03/18/03 04:35 PM Your Opinion Please

Last year (4-2002)we received an invoice for a product that as far as anyone knows we did not order and did not receive. Several attempts were made to clear up the invoice, including requesting more information of who ordered, etc. The company did give names of the ordering individuals on two separate occassions. Both times the names were different, though both are employees. Our accounts payable department continued to fax requests for supporting documentation besides a bill. This was done at least 5 times. On 5/13 we received a payment reminder, on 5/21 we received a past due demand letter. Verbally we were told that if the bill was not paid, we would be sent to the collection agency. At that point, payable department paid the bill.

The first I hear of all of this is today. Accounts payable is requesting that an SAR be filed, because this company is calling again. I don't believe that this merits an SAR. I think that if they are so afraid of talking to these people, they should simply not take calls. However, I may be wrong. What is your opinion?

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#68108 - 03/18/03 04:55 PM Re: Your Opinion Please
ahou Offline
Power Poster
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 3,094
I don't think a SAR is warranted. Maybe speak to your bank's attorney.
Opinions are my own and not of my employer.

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#68109 - 03/18/03 04:57 PM Re: Your Opinion Please
Dan Persfull Offline
10K Club
Dan Persfull
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 46,762
Bloomington, IN
This is a scam that has been going on for years. I get invoices on a weekly basis about my "trail" subscription expiring. The problem, I never subsribed to a "trial". I just pitch them.

An SAR may be in order as it is possible they are engaged in illegal/fraud activity, but if they are sending you "bogus" bills through the mail, contact your Post Master. Also request written documentation where the order was placed and the merchandise signed for.

Put in a monitoring system. If our Payables dept. doesn't have a requisition, they don't pay for it, or accept delivery. (Of course we're a smaller bank, and it's easier for us to monitor our deliveries.)

Tell these people if they want to go to court, fine, and if they report you to a "collection agency" that's where they'll wind up. They'll stop calling. They have gotten a hold of someone in your payables dept. that won't stand their ground, or doesn't understand their ground.
The opinions expressed are mine and they are not to be taken as legal advice.

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#68110 - 03/18/03 04:59 PM Re: Your Opinion Please
wlavoie Offline
Gold Star
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 338
Hell's Canyon
Why is the company calling again? I would not have paid the bill without further documentation. I would contact the Better Business Bureau and get some facts on the company. I don't believe a SAR should be filed. But remember, you asked for an opinion.
Wendy LaVoie

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#68111 - 03/18/03 05:07 PM Re: Your Opinion Please

There are comapies who practice deciet by getting the name of an individual working for you, and then ship a few hundred dollars worth of paper, or some expendables used in an office environment. They count on the fact that receiving an order of paper (or what ever) is not out of the ordinary, the invoice has an employee name, and 90% of the time the invoice gets paid without question.

Check the Better Business Bureau to see if they have any such complaints on this company. If you have never done business with this company before and what they are shipping is something you ordinarily purchase from another supplier, I would question the invoice. If you have received shipment and a bill for products not authorized, notify the company the shipment was not authorized and refuse to pay it. In some states you can also keep what has been shipped.

The scam companies that do this sort of thing, count on the fact that most companies will pay up based on the threat of a Small Claims action. The fact that you paid and are still getting calls makes me lean toward a scam.

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#68112 - 03/18/03 05:12 PM Re: Your Opinion Please
Don_Narup Offline

Power Poster
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 3,708
Las Vegas Nevada
Oops didn't log in. The Anonmous post about this being a scam was from me. No, I don't believe an SAR is necessary
Compliance Analysis and Research - Software for your CRA/HMDA analysis needs

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#68113 - 03/18/03 07:05 PM Re: Your Opinion Please
wpdcad Offline
100 Club
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 194
Don't forget to file the scam with your state Attorney General's office and to report to your state banking associating for posting.
Opinions stated are not necessarily that of my employer.

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#68114 - 03/18/03 10:50 PM Re: Your Opinion Please
Princess Romeo Offline

Power Poster
Princess Romeo
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 8,272
Where the heart is
If the invoice is for less than $5,000, a SAR is not necessary, but you can still file one voluntarily if you feel this was a complete scam against the bank.

I do remember an FDIC FIL issued a couple years back warning about a particular company that was targeting banks with fraudulent invoices.
Regulations are a poor substitute for ethics.
Just sayin'

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#68115 - 03/19/03 05:16 AM Re: Your Opinion Please
Deepa C Offline
Junior Member
Deepa C
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 27
Dubai, UAE
We had a company based in Germany bill us for a Banking Directory that we never ordered. (Neither did we receive the directory). They kept sending us reminders stating that we would be reported to the collections agency. On asking for proof about our order, they faxed us an order form with a squiggle for the signature that could have been signed by anyone.

When the next reminder came, we had our Compliance Officer write a strong letter to them stating that we in turn would report them to their law agency (through the Central Bank) and would post complaints about them through customer forums on the Internet. Needless to say, we never heard from them again.

Moral of the story is if you are sure that the invoice should not be paid, act tough and ask the company to send the collectors. Their case would not hold up in any court of law. Neither would they be interested in incurring the legal expenses if the amount billed is < $ 1000.

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#68116 - 03/19/03 04:35 PM Re: Your Opinion Please
WildTurkey Offline
Platinum Poster
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 921
Down South, USA
The classic version of this scam is sending invoices, and in turn "over due" notices, for a listing in an international telex or business directory. To call it a "scam" seems to down-play the fact that is a fraud, plain and simple.

I really don't think that you should have paid it, but if this is widespread maybe the BBB could take this matter up? .... Having said that, my guess would be that the fraudsters are mailing those demand in from overseas and that legal action against them might not even be possible.

In the UK the demands used to be mailed from the Netherlands, until the law was tightened up; then they came from Switzerland. The last time I heard of this fraud I think that the letters were coming from somewhere in Africa.
This is my opinion; it is not legal advice, nor the view of my employer, and it may change tomorrow.

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