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Scams Are Getting More Expensive

Jul 05, 2005

It seems that inflation has hit the potential “scammers” that regularly target dealerships.While less than a year ago, Internet “invoice” scams were being distributed to dealerships looking for $29.95 or $49.95 to sign up for a web directory or “web services,” in the past few months, many of the “invoices” that have been forwarded to NJ CAR are in the $200 to $400 range. Take the “invoice” recently forwarded to us by a dealer member.A Hockessin, Delaware-based company sent a $399.95 “invoice” for a “web directory listing.”There is no language detailing what the listing entails, nor is there any indication that the “invoice” is not a bill, even though the service was never ordered by the dealership. The “invoice” includes both an invoice and client number, making it look very real.As always, NJ CAR recommends utilizing purchase order numbers for any product or service ordered from your facility.It is also important to match up the order number with the product or service being billed, so an enterprising scam artist doesn’t fool your accounts payable department, by making it appear that a purchase order has been used. NJ CAR has also been made aware of another potential bank scam.Similar to other scams reported on in previous issues of the NewsLetter, dealerships have reported receiving e-mails from alleged banks, stating that the banks were planning a software upgrade and providing a link for “customers” to confirm their account information.This request is likely looking to capture user information or may contain a virus when the user clicks on a link or attachment.Steer clear of any e-mail that requests confirmation of banking information. In some cases, an identity thief may create an e-mail that appears to be from a legitimate bank, right down to the colors and logos used; however, it is highly unlikely that a reputable banking institution will request customer information through an e-mail or website link. If you are skeptical of an e-mail that appears to come from a legitimate bank, NJ CAR recommends contacting the customer service department of your banking institution to verify whether or not the communication originated from them.