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PIA Issues Scam Update

PostPress

Federal authorities are looking for specific details from printing companies that may have fallen victim to an international scam invovling a fraudulent direct marketing agency, according to the Printing Industries of America (PIA).

In April, PIA alerted printing industry professionals about a major scam involving a fraudulent direct marketing agency operating out of the Canadian cities of Montreal and Toronto. Federal authorities believe the targets in this case have been operating under the following names: Direct Market, DMW Direct, API Global Fulfillment, DMG Group Corporation, Global Media, Slim-Tab and LipoCitrex. The scam artist purports to represent clients marketing weight loss products, such as Axera International, BeSlim and Nutrim.

"The scam is simple but effective," said Michael Makin, PIA president and CEO. "It has claimed a number of victims." The US Postal Service (USPS) and law enforcement officials on both sides of the border are investigating the matter. "Progress has been made," Makin added.

The scam works like this: A marketing agency contacts printers via their website with a potential windfall job to produce millions of marketing pieces. "The marketing agency literally banks on printers offering a line of credit based on initial feedback from credit references, which are similarly fraudulent," Makin explained.

When printers ask for a check to cover postage, it is promptly sent via UPS. The check looks completely official, including a hologram, and printers deposit it thinking all is well, not realizing that any check drawn on a foreign bank account will take two to three weeks to validate and collect funds. Some companies will complete the printed pieces and mail them before the check clears, leaving the printer to cover the postage and printing costs.

"Sadly, a significant number of PIA members are now out tens of thousands of dollars because of this scam," Makin said. USPS officials want to hear specifics from those who have been injured by this scam. If your company has fallen victim or you were approached by any of the aforementioned entities, please contact Postal Inspector Matt Schmitz at 920.869.3719.

For additional information, visit www.printing.org.