Don't fall for the advertising invoice scam

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix man says an advertising company is pursuing him for an ad that he claims he never placed.

Much of Jerry's business is word of mouth. So, when he got a telephone message this month saying he had an unpaid advertising bill, it piqued his interest.
On the voicemail, the caller states, "I'm calling about an invoice that's in collections and it needs to be paid." The caller left an invoice number and telephone number to call back.
King tells 3 On Your Side that he sensed it was probably a scam because he really doesn't advertise. Not only that, the telephone call sounded almost identical to a scam he says he fell for last year.
At that time, he got a bill for $499 for an unpaid advertisement he reportedly owed.  King tells 3 On Your Side, "They kept calling and kept calling and insisting that I pay the bill.
Tired of the harassing phone calls, Jerry says he just paid the $499 bill. "I couldn't put up with it anymore and it was right in the middle of tax season and I was busy,” a frustrated King said. "I figured it's was worth $500 to get rid of them."
But now, King says he's being hounded again.  It’s a different so-called company,  but the same demand.
King says he fell for the ploy one time already, but he's not doing it again.  And, he says he wants other businesses out there to not fall for it either.  "It's just best to ignore them.  If you talk to them on the phone, don't acknowledge that you owe the bill because they'll trap you."
3 On Your Side has confirmed that the company that called King is based out of Miami, Florida.  A company representative claims it is an online advertising firm, but refused to discuss details regarding Mr. King.  They would only say he owed $499.00.
So, 3 On Your Side turned to the Florida Attorney General's Office.  The agency's website says demands for payment from online advertising companies are a common complaint. 

Click here more information on the scheme and how you can prevent from becoming a victim.