The Better Business Bureau is warning school districts in Massachusetts and across the country about possible fake invoices for educational supplies. According to the BBB, In the past few weeks, there has been a rush of complaints filed with BBB in 27 states, including Massachusetts, against “Scholastic School Supply,” which claims either a Nevada or New Jersey address that turn out to be mail drops.
The company is not affiliated with Scholastic, Inc., the global children’s publishing, education and media company.
According to the BBB, the bogus invoices have been for $647.50 for the bulk purchase of “English-Language Arts Practice Books” or $388.50 for math workbooks (although the amounts and products could change at any time). Complainants say they cannot reach the company to inquire about the products or amounts allegedly owed, and all have denied ever doing business with the company previously.
BBB is conducting an investigation, and urges schools not to pay the invoices but to send them to the local postal inspector and the Federal Trade Commission, as well as their state’s attorney general or consumer protection agency. So far, none of the complainants have sent money; however, BBB has no way of knowing if any schools have unknowingly paid the invoice, since they would not have filed a complaint.
Meanwhile, Scholastic, Inc, issued a statement.
“Many of our customers have received invoices from a company calling itself “Scholastic School Supply.” Scholastic School Supply is not affiliated with Scholastic Inc., but rather is a company that is using Scholastic’s name and trademark without authorization. Scholastic recently became aware of this company and its actions, and has demanded that they cease and desist using Scholastic’s name and trademark, which they have agreed to do, but they seemingly have not done so as of the date of this communication.
“In addition, Scholastic has been investigating this company and will continue to, and if we determine that this company is allegedly violating any other laws or regulations, we will take prompt, appropriate action. However, in the course of our investigation and through conversations with our customers who have brought this company to our attention, it appears that numerous schools and districts have referred “Scholastic School Supply” to various state attorneys general and the U.S. Postal Inspector in Nevada and New Jersey for further investigation.”