Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Bogus Invoicing Again Stinging Newspapers; Phony Classified Ad Invoices Bill Newspapers for Ads Run in Their Own Papers

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Bogus Invoicing Again Stinging Newspapers; Phony Classified Ad Invoices Bill Newspapers for Ads Run in Their Own Papers

Article excerpt

THEY'RE BA-A-A-A-A-CK.

It appears the same con artists who victimized newspaper advertisers with bogus classified ad invoices -- a boiler-room operation that postal authorities thought they had shut down last fall -- are again plying their trade.

If it is the same crew -- and the forms are virtually identical to those used by Employment Classifieds in the previous scheme -- it is still making the same stupid mistakes.

In the past couple of months, the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill., has received more than 20 bogus invoices for ads the newspaper ran in its own classifieds.

One, sent in early March, came from something called Classified Advertising Services of Henderson, Nev.

Another 20 arrived a few weeks later from Employment, which gives its address as 2440 16th St., No. 141, San Francisco, Calif. 94103.

Directory assistance in both cities said there was no listing for the companies.

"I presume they just open up at another city when they get shut down," said Robert F. Donahue, vice president/treasurer of the Daily Herald.

With the fervor of a dedicated insect exterminator, Donahue has been fighting these bogus invoicing schemes for several years.

Oddly, the suburban Chicago daily seems to be a favorite target of the West Coast scammers.

"All I can do is keep alerting people," Donahue said.

Advertising agencies who work with the Daily Herald have become so familiar with the schemes they are no longer fooled, Donahue says.

But he adds that he worries about infrequent advertisers who very easily could confuse the bogus invoices with the real things. …

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