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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, Feb. 10, 2012
CONTACT: Leah Mohr, deputy executive director, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201 or (605) 280-4327

PUC warns of deceitful billing scheme

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota businesses are being targeted in a billing scheme by an out-of-state company that attempts to elicit payment for telecommunications services and/or products that have not been ordered or received, warns the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. Businesses have reported receiving a document that appears to be an invoice for "telecom maintenance agreement" from an unfamiliar company. The document instructs the recipient to remit payment of several hundred dollars to an address in California. The PUC has learned that school districts and other public agencies have received the billing.

Businesses that have contacted the PUC confirmed that they have not ordered such services and did not send money to the company. The billing entity did not respond to inquiries made by the PUC.

The PUC advises businesses and individuals to carefully review all invoices and billing statements they receive and to question any that are from companies not familiar to the recipient.

Businesses or consumers may contact the PUC for assistance by calling 1-800-332-1782 or by emailing