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Pro-forma Invoicing

The scam involves sales people from a publishing company contacting a business and falsely claiming that the business agreed to advertise in a particular publication. This is also called "false invoicing" or "false billing". The scam primarily targets small businesses. It is a breach of the Fair Trading Act to engage in pro-forma invoicing.

How to avoid this invoicing

  1. Ask for proof that the advertisement was agreed to - no proof, no payment.
  2. Verify the booking with colleagues.
  3. Ask for specific evidence that the publishing company has been commissioned by an organisation to publish the magazine on their behalf.
  4. Keep records of telephone conversations discussing advertising, including date, what was discussed and who it was discussed with.
  5. Have an advertising booking system in place and ensure all staff are aware of it.
  6. Inform the company in writing that the advertisement they are charging you for was not authorised and will not be paid for.
  7. Seek legal advice if threatened with legal action.


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