Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent a warning to state agencies and businesses to be on the lookout for a scam involving phony invoices. The mailings, from a California-based company called UST or US Telecom or Ust Development, appear to be a bill for $425 worth of telecom maintenance — services that none of the recipients of these letters ever sought, much less obtained.
The invoices have been mailed to several state entities: the DEC, Department of Transportation, Canal Corporation, OGS and — in what might be termed a “tactical error” by the alleged scammers — the Office of the Attorney General.
In addition, invoices were sent to several school districts (Indian River, Alexandria Central, Carthage, Copenhagen, Hermon Dekalb, Watertown) and the City of Auburn Police Department.
“Agencies and schools need to be aware that these mailers are nothing but slick attempts to defraud public entities of taxpayer dollars,” said Schneiderman in a release. “My office will stand ready to pursue individuals who use deceptive practices and schemes to divert taxpayer dollars from their intended destination.”
The company has turned up on several ripoff alert sites. A phone call to UST yields a message saying that the account is blocked.