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Attorney General William Sorrell Warns Vermont Businesses And Organizations Of Deceptive Invoice Mailing

CONTACT: Jason Duquette-Hoffman, Consumer Assistance Program, (800) 649-2424

June 7, 2012

The Vermont Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) has been alerted by several Vermont businesses, organizations and state agencies to recent deceptive mailings targeting business entities in Vermont. The mailings contain a document that appears to be an invoice from US-Telecom/UST regarding a “Telecom Maintenance Agreement.” The mailings are unsolicited, and do not reference any existing contractual arrangement with the company.

This “invoice” is actually a solicitation. Businesses that respond and pay will be enrolled in ongoing “services” and will continue to receive further invoices. The Better Business Bureau has documented over 400 complaints nationally against UST.

Attorney General William Sorrell is asking businesses and organizations to warn staff (particularly those responsible for processing payments) about this solicitation and to maintain or develop practices to carefully review invoices from companies and verify all invoices with the person who gave the authorization. “Recent legislation proposed and supported by my office extends protection to businesses against being billed for unsolicited merchandise or services, but the best protection against deceptive marketing and scams is awareness and vigilance,” said Attorney General Sorrell.

If your business responded to this mailing or would like to report another deceptive practice or scam, please contact CAP at consumer@uvm.edu. Consumers and businesses can get up-to-the-minute alerts by following CAP on Twitter @vtconsumers or on the CAP website at www.uvm.edu/consumer.

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