Canadian businesses targeted in directory scam that started in New York

SINCE April 2, 2018, Better Business Bureau Serving Metropolitan New York has received a surge in reports from businesses alleging that they have received fraudulent invoices from a firm calling itself “Leaders Media Group, LLC” for executive profiles in various publications.

Reports have been received from companies across the U.S. and Canada. BBB Serving Metro New York has issued an “F” rating for the company operating under the Leaders Media Group name and is advising businesses to review all invoices carefully.

BBB Scam Tracker submissions, complaints and reviews claim that these invoices are fake because the businesses did not order or purchase listings in the named publications.

“We’ve seen these types of office scams a lot. The last one came out of California where the scammers were trying to bilk money out of Canadian companies through fake invoices for copier supplies,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “Companies lose money if they aren’t diligent in making sure they actually made a business transaction.”

As of April 16, 2018, BBB Metro NY has received six complaints, 26 customer reviews (negative), and 28 reports submitted to BBB’s Scam Tracker. The company appears to have sent a mass mailing to businesses with invoices for $3,799.00 dated 3.30.2018 for:

“Advertising and marketing service charges in [alleged publications] for [company executive name]” in an attempt to make the invoice look legitimate.

An initial investigation on Leaders Media Group began in June 2017 after an increase in submissions concerning invoices received by small businesses for $3,799.00 dated 6.19.2017 for an executive profile in Financial Technology Leaders.

The website domain for Leaders Media Group that BBB Metro New York has on file is not currently operational nor is there a business registration under that name. BBB could not locate the alleged publications referenced in the fake invoices, entitled Healthcare & Life Sciences Leaders, Aerospace Technology Leaders, or Financial Technology Leaders.