Warning! Watch Out for Disguised Invoice Solicitations

When you get an invoice in the mail, your first inclination is that it needs to be paid—especially an invoice as important as your web domain listings.

However, if you act too fast, you may be victimized by con artists. There are new solicitations going around that look like invoices. You think you are being billed for the web domain you already have, but in fact, the invoice is actually a solicitation from a different provider. One of our clients experienced this firsthand.

Your web domain and listings are usually annual expenses that get reviewed once a year for your annual bill. As long as there are no problems throughout the year, it’s easy to forget about the companies you are registered with. If you are unsure of the nature of the invoice, withhold payment until you can contact the company and verify that they are your provider. Solicitations of this type are illegal unless they have specific features.

Features That Invoice Solicitations Must Include to Be Legal

When a company sends a solicitation that looks like an invoice, it must include the following:

  1. A disclaimer in very large (at least 30-point) type.
  2. Text in boldface capital letters.

  3. Font color that contrasts prominently with the background against which it appears.

  4. The following phrase: “THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A SOLICITATION. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED ABOVE UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS OFFER.”

Would you move forward with paying this invoice if you received it in the mail?

Example of invoice solicitation letter (front)Example of invoice solicitation letter (back)

Transcription

Global Domain Listings, the subscription includes annual website domain listings on internet directory by www.globaldomainlistings.org. This website listing offer is provided to leading websites throughout the United States to enhance their website exposure and to expose them to new customers. The listing period is for 12 consecutive months and must be renewed annually if you wish to renew your domain listing and keep it active on our web directory. This is not a bill. This is a solicitation you are under no obligation to pay the amount stated above unless you accept this offer. Please make checks payable to Global Domain Listings. To ensure domain listing is not suspended please remit payment. 

What to Do If You Receive a Suspicious Solicitation

If you have received a questionable invoice, contact the company right away. If it is, in fact, a real invoice, you don’t want to be late on the payment. Failing to pay your web domain service could result in your website being taken down and users being shown a broken page. This can cause your business a lot of harm. Check your records to confirm your domain host company and keep accurate records. The best way to keep invoices straight and to pay them promptly is to channel everything to one employee in one department.

If you believe you have received an illegal solicitation, please contact the U.S. Postal Service so it can place a stop on the mailings and return them to the sender. Standing up to these criminals will cut the source of their revenue and hopefully dissolve their solicitation efforts.

2 Comments
Holly, I'm so happy you had the right team set up to take care of that solicitation. Good catch!
by Susie Bacus November 30, 2017 at 02:44 PM
We received a letter like this at our firm and I am so glad we read it carefully! Our accounting team was quick to question it when the company did not seem familiar.
by Holly November 28, 2017 at 11:38 AM
Post a Comment

Get Help Now

Follow:

More Blog Posts Subscribe to our RSS Feed

Testimonials

Newsletters

Complimentary Site Analysis

Picture of Free Website SEO Marketing Analysis

Get your 8 page report that spells out exactly what is working, what is wrong, and, more importantly, what needs to be done to fix it.

Request Now
The 5 Biggest Mistakes 99% of Lawyers Make With Their Websites

The 5 Biggest Mistakes 99% of Lawyers Make With Their Websites

This report will demystify common SEO (search engine optimization) practices and help your ongoing efforts to capture more prospects and clients.

View Details
The 9 Biggest Marketing Mistakes Physicians Make That Cost Patients and Profits

The 9 Biggest Marketing Mistakes Physicians Make That Cost Patients and Profits

Physicians are not expected to be marketers, but you are running a business and marketing is a critical factor to your success!

View Details