© 2022 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
KCUR FM is operating at lower power and KCUR HD1 & HD2 (Classical) are off air while Kansas City PBS performs repair work. Signals will be restored this afternoon.
Education

School Scam Sweeps Across 22 States Including Missouri

Authorities in 22 states, including Missouri, are investigating a scam aimed at school districts.

There’s nothing fancy about this scam. There’s no hacking or card readers.  It’s just what the Better Business Bureau calls an old time invoice scam.

It works like this: someone sends around invoices for $647.50 for workbooks.

The company name on the invoice, investigators say, is Scholastic School Supply, which is suspiciously close to Scholastic Inc., the huge educational book publisher.

Bureau investigator Bill Smith says the scammers hope the invoice amount is so small, no one will check.

“We’ll just mail these things out and hope that enough of them don’t go through the process of double-checking and will send payment assuming that this was ordered by someone within the district,” Smith said.

Investigators say at least two districts in western Missouri have received the scam invoices — Lone Jack in eastern Jackson County and Sheldon, just south of Nevada.

The Centralia School District in Illinois says all five elementary schools and the district officers received the fake invoices.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine last week issued an alert about the bogus invoices.

"We want Ohioans to be aware of this potential scheme so that no Ohio school districts end up paying for something they never ordered or received," DeWine said.

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
Your donation helps make non-profit journalism available for everyone.