1. Money
Susan Ward

New Twist on Invoice Business Scam: Fake Voice Tapes

By February 23, 2012

Follow me on:

What's worse than your small business getting products you never ordered and endless phone calls demanding payment for goods you've never ordered?

How about the scammer using fake voice tapes to try to prove your business owes them money?

That's exactly what's happening to Katy Unruh, a personal trainer in Brandon Manitoba.

She says that Express Transaction Services (ETS) sent her business dramatically overpriced cash register paper that she never ordered and that she has been since receiving up to six phone calls a day from ETS demanding payment.

Now, ETS is not just any company. The Montreal telemarketing firm was raided in 2007 and charged with with fraud and violations under the federal Competition Act last fall. According to the Competition Bureau, their "send-businesses-stuff-they've-never-ordered-and-then-endlessly-nag-them-to-pay" scam has netted ETS than $170 million in gross sales between 2001 and 2007 - meaning that there have been thousand of victims.

The case is still dragging through the courts. And in a bizarre twist, ETS has posted recordings it says prove that some of the disputed transactions are legitimate. The only problem with this defense? The people supposedly recorded say the recordings are fakes.

The recording relating to Katy Unruh claims to be of her husband, Arnold, agreeing to buy office supplies for her business. Except that the salesperson in the recording keeps calling the person he's talking to "Bernie". Not even close.

More on This Story

More on Business Scams

Connect with Susan: Free Newsletters | SB Canada Forum | LinkedIn | Facebook | Google+ | Twitter: @SmallBizCanada

Comments
February 27, 2012 at 9:39 pm
(1) Lahle Wolfe says:

How truly horrible! It is hard enough to defend against identity theft but ETS is even worse — pretending to be a legitimate business.

I hope they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and do not get off with fines and a slap.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.