The latest target for scammers: Businesses that just want to comply with the government’s requirements.
The scam: A business gets an unexpected invoice or notice via email or regular mail saying the bosses need to buy workplace posters in order to comply with state and federal labor laws.
The posters can be about subjects such as job safety, employee rights or the minimum wage, the kind you might see in office break rooms.
One small business owner reported he was told he needed to pony up ”a $79.25 document fee” to purchase the posters required by law, according to a recent news release from the Better Business Bureau. If you don’t pay immediately, the letter said, you risk thousands in fines.
The problem: Workers rights posters that are indeed required by, for example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, are available for free on its website at https://www.osha.gov/publications/poster. They can be ordered online or by phone or downloaded.
Other free U.S. Department of Labor employee notifications can be found at https://www.dol.gov/general/topics/posters.
“You should never have to pay for posters to be in compliance” with Department of Labor regulations, the Better Business Bureau said.
Advice from experts: Carefully read over all invoices and payment notices, especially unsolicited ones from unknown contacts. Look for a legitimate address, phone number and website. Never pay an invoice for a service unless it’s one you agreed to. And check with official government sources first.
“Scammers love to scare victims into paying, so it’s important not to panic even if you’ve received a threatening letter,” the Better Business Bureau cautioned. “Think twice and do your research before you pay.”