Scammers Posing as Yellow Pages - WBAY

Target 2 Consumer Alert

Scammers Posing as Yellow Pages


Small business owners are being urged to be on the lookout for companies posing as the Yellow Pages.

The name "Yellow Pages" and the iconic walking fingers logo are not copyright or trademark protected.  That means scam artists can easily use the Yellow Pages name and logo in an effort to scam small business owners.

"They would call or mail a solicitation under the guise that it was an invoice for the Yellow Pages advertisement," said Christopher Cizin, U.S. Postal Inspector.

When those ad solicitations arrive, small business owners often fill out the paperwork assuming they're updating their current Yellow Pages listing.

"Then, shortly after that, they would receive an invoice for $499, $599 or $1299 for an online listing in the Yellow Pages," said Cizin.

If companies don't pay that invoice, they would receive threatening letters or phone calls saying they were going to report them to collection agencies and have "lawyers" call them.

"In most cases the attorney wasn't a real attorney," said Cizin. "The collection agency, it was just another person who worked at that company."

Postal inspectors say small business owners should always request additional information from a solicitor.

Also, ask how the directory will be distributed, how often it will be distributed, and where it will be distributed.

Also, check with the local Yellow Pages publisher to see if they're affiliated with the solicitor.

For more information on scams, click here to visit the U.S. Postal Inspection Service online.


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