Suspicious Geek Squad or PayPal invoices in your inbox? Hit delete
You may have encountered a fake invoice if you are running a small business or keeping books for one. Phony bills have long been a favorite and effective trick of scammers. Recently, BBB Scam Tracker has gotten multiple reports of a new version of this scam, where con artists pretend to be contacting you as part of the Geek Squad, which is owned by Best Buy (BBB Accredited Business) or through PayPal (BBB Accredited Business).
How this scam works
You receive an invoice that says it’s coming from the Geek Squad. It tells you you’ll be charged hundreds of dollars for an annual subscription that is about to auto-renew. The email may include a PDF version of the invoice and a number to call if you want to cancel the subscription.
Panicked, and sure you never authorized this subscription, you call the number. A “customer service agent” answers and pretends to assist you with the cancellation. They may offer you a refund or ask you to confirm your bank account information so they can cancel the subscription. If you give them that sensitive information, they’ll likely gain access to your account and can withdraw money without your consent. Even if you stop short of calling “customer service,” downloading any PDFs or clicking links in the email could download malware onto your computer and put you at risk of identity theft.
Fake Geek Squad invoices aren’t the only version of this scam. A new iteration looks like a vendor requesting payment via PayPal. Like the Geek Squad version, the message urges you to call “customer service” if “the payment was not authorized or you wish to cancel this charge.”
Read the full article for an example of this scam.
How to avoid similar scams:
- Know how companies deliver invoices. If you sign up for a service or subscription, ask how the company will provide its invoices. That way, if scammers send you a copycat invoice through different channels, it will not fool you.
- Train your staff to spot a fake invoice. As a small business owner, you may only personally look at some invoices from your accounts department. Ensure your employees know how to differentiate an actual invoice from a scam.
- Don’t give in to scare tactics. Scammers will use a sense of urgency to get you to give up sensitive information or make payments without thinking. If someone tells you you’ll lose hundreds of dollars if you don’t act now, don’t be easily intimidated. Always do proper research before agreeing to any transactions – especially unexpected ones.
- See the full article on BBB.org for more tips.
For more information
Read the BBB Tip about spotting a phony email. Learn other ways to protect your business from scams and maintain a good reputation in your community by visiting BBB.org/SmallBusiness and BBB.org/AvoidScams.
If you’ve been the victim of a scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker. By registering your experience, you can help others avoid falling for the same scam.
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