Hundreds of complaints are pouring in nationwide from business owners duped in a "Yellow Pages Scam." Schemers hijack the "Yellow Pages'" name and call business owners, convincing them if they pay for an online ad consumers will let their "fingers do the walking" right into their door. Problem is: The ads are never placed.
The Better Business Bureau released a warning today outlining how the scam works:
You are at work. You receive a call from someone representing a website, which they claim is an online version of the Yellow Pages. The caller says he is updating the directory and asks you some basic information, such as your office’s address, telephone number and email. After you answer, the representative repeats the information back to you, and you confirm the listing.
A few weeks later, your office receives an invoice for several hundred dollars for an ad from the Yellow Pages online directory. But you never agreed to that!
When you call to complain, the representative says that you verbally confirmed the placement. He or she even plays back a spliced version of your previous conversation. The altered recording makes it sound like you were agreeing to place an ad, when you were really saying “yes” to the listing information.
How to Protect Yourself Against This Scam:
Hang up. Don’t confirm information from unknown callers. This just gives the scammers something to use against you.
Remember, the Yellow Pages name and logo is not trademarked. Scammers are able to use the name and “walking fingers” icon to lend credibility to their scam. They are not affiliated with the famous phone directory.
Don’t trust Caller ID. Scammers have technology that lets them display any number or organization name on your screen.
The BBB has resolved hundreds of complaints against business have been accused of this scam. Go to bbb.org to file a complaint.