BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - There just seemed to be something devilish about the invoice Pastor Walter Ostrander found in the mailbox at First Baptist Church in Elma. It was a monthly bill for $50 for internet services.
"So I called the toll-free number and the lady on the other end said, 'Yes, that is a bill, a service, that you ordered.' I said, 'What is the service?' And she says, 'That is internet backup,'" said the pastor.
Pastor Wally, as he is affectionately called by his congregation, was astounded.
"I said, 'I never ordered it.' 'Yes you did, we have you recorded'. I said, 'No I didn't. As a matter of fact, we don't have a computer or internet here, so I know I didn't order it,'" recounted Pastor Wally.
But he says the operator was undaunted. She told him the company - A-2-Z Offsite in Wisconsin - would cancel his order for a $200 cancelation fee.
Peggy Penders of the BBB says these phony invoice capers have been around for years, they just get updated. They usually target small business, but there was a phony invoice enterprise based in California that targeted large businesses and government offices and even falsely billed our sister station in Green Bay, Wisconsin for services not rendered, which they, of course, didn't pay.
Terry Bies of WLUK Green Bay said, "It does make you really look again, and again, at your invoices you are processing, because you don't want to pay something that is not a legitimate expense."
Pastor Wally didn't pay either and is turning the invoice over to U.S. postal inspectors for possible mail fraud.
A spokesperson for A-2-Z Offsite said they would call News 4 back, but so far, we have not gotten a phone call from the company.
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