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State AG says six local schools targets of invoice scam

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The state attorney general is warning of fakes invoices being sent to several north country school districts, as well as to other state agencies and municipalities.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a statement Friday that a California company called UST has sent phony $425 bills to Indian River, Alexandria, Carthage, Copenhagen, Hermon DeKalb and Watertown school districts, despite the schools not doing any business with the company.

“Agencies and schools need to be aware that these mailers are nothing but slick attempts to defraud entities of taxpayer dollars,” Mr. Schneiderman said.

He said the mailings appear to be a bill for telecom maintenance, with the invoices requesting payment for “Telecom Maintenance Agreements.” He said none of recipients ever solicited the service or had any other dealings with UST.

In addition to the north country school districts, invoices were sent to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Transportation, Office of General Services and the Attorney General’s office.

Mr. Schneiderman has sent the company a “cease and desist” letter, informing the company that its mailings are deceptive and misleading, in violation of state General Business Law.

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