(WMC TV) - A scam artist got a bright idea and launched a billing scam.
The scam centered around light bulbs.
"The suspect in this investigation sent out invoices for light bulbs that were not ordered and that were often not received by the victim companies," said U.S. Postal Inspector Jason Crowe.
Crowe said postal inspectors identified 800 victim companies by matching invoices with bank records.
Now you might be wondering why a company would pay an invoice for a product it never ordered.
"Because the accounts payable department and the local stores aren't in sync with what the other is doing," Crowe answered.
Small businesses, be vigilant. If you get a bill, make sure it's from a vendor you recognize.
"Keep good records," said Asst. U.S. Attorney Adam Reeves. "Secondly, don't be afraid to ask good questions and third, report scams when you see them."
The 800 companies caught in this scam were taken for a total of $3 million. But postal inspectors nailed the scammer. The suspect's serving four years in a federal prison.