June 16, 2014 Last Updated 1:24 pm

Australian agency warns businesses about paying ad invoices to ‘fake’ magazines

Mining industry hit by scam artist who bills for ads in trade magazines that do not exist

The NSW Fair Trading, an Australian agency in New South Wales, is warning businesses about an advertising scam involving B2B magazines. The agency says that two individuals, including one who has already been found guilty of the practice, have been billing businesses in the mining industry for advertising that they say have appeared in such magazines as Construction Mining & Resource Media and Mining & Resource Media.

The problem is that the magazines do not, apparently, exist.

“False invoices have been sent to more than 50 companies nationally seeking payment for non-existent advertisements allegedly placed in mining-related publications including Australian Mining and Resource Journal, Australian Mining & Construction Journal and Australian Energy and Resources Journal,” NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said.

The scheme involves sending out invoices with a 14 day grace period for payment. The false billing has led to over $300,000 (AUS) in collected bills from around 100 invoices.

“False billing scams rely on businesses processing claims without too much interrogation. Failure to check expenses carefully can result in businesses getting ripped off,” Stowe said.

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