Thousands of schools have received an invoice for $647.50 for 50 common-core-aligned “Math Practice” workbooks that they didn’t order or receive.
The realistic-looking but bogus invoice is popping up in school purchasing offices nationwide, according to Ronald A. Skinner, the deputy executive director of the Reston, Va.-based Association of School Business Officials International, or ASBO.
Invoices from “Scholastic School Supply,” with an address in either Sewell, N.J., or Las Vegas, are being sent to individual schools. Better Business Bureau offices in Nevada and New Jersey report having received more than 3,000 inquiries and 87 formal complaints originating in 26 states about the invoices. The Nevada office released a “scam alert” on Sept. 5.
Scholastic Inc. issued its own statement saying that many of its customers have received invoices from a company calling itself Scholastic School Supply, which has no affiliation with the New York City-based children’s book publisher.
Officials with the FBI, various state attorneys general, and the U.S. postal inspector’s offices in Nevada and New Jersey have been notified of the invoices, according to business officials posting comments on an ASBO listserv.
Darren King, the purchasing manager for the 13,000-student Central Valley School District #356 in Spokane Valley, Wash., said that in his 17 years working in purchasing for a school system, he had never seen anything like the invoice scam. What flagged the invoice was that there was no purchase order matching it, he said.
A version of this article appeared in the September 17, 2014 edition of Education Week as Scammers Target Schools With Bogus Math-Workbook Invoices