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Better Business Bureau ®
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45 counties of Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky
BBB Warns of Misleading Directory Listings
June 05, 2014

TO:             BBB Accredited Businesses and Media

CONTACT:  Melanie Thompson, Branch Manager
                    BBB Tenn-Tucky Branch, Clarksville
                    931-503-2210    mthompson@gobbb.org

“Yellow Page Editions” Tricks Businesses with Misleading Directory Listings
BBB warns - It’s not the REAL Yellow Pages

[May 5 – Clarksville, TN] BBB warns businesses about misleading invoices from YPE aka Yellow Page Editions, 400 E Pratt St. STE 800, Baltimore, MD 21202, 800-210-8480, www.yellowpageeditions.com. BBB’s Business review for this firm outlines an F rating with over 80 complaints received within the last 12 months.

Hopkinsville, KY business owner Al Lehne from Alco Construction was recently billed for $284.94 worth of directory advertising he never ordered. Mr. Lehne states he made several heated phone calls to the company and they finally told him not to worry about the invoice.

Yellow Page Editions calls local businesses and asks them to confirm their business address, telephone number and other information claiming it’s for a listing the business has in Yellow Pages or similar directories. After rapid-fire questions with yes and no answers, the call is ended.  These phone calls are recorded and then edited into a phone agreement for authorization and ordering of phony or obscure business listings.

The invoices look official with the recognizable "walking fingers" logo and the name "Yellow Pages,” and scammers use that information to add credibility to their scheme. The invoices often include threats that the debt will be turned over to a collection agency or reported to the credit bureau if no payment is received.

There has been an increase in this form of fraud.  Small and medium-sized businesses, churches, and not-for-profit groups have been hardest hit -- many paying the bogus invoices in the mistaken belief that it’s simply a misunderstanding.

If a business receives an invoice for a service or product that was not authorized, it should send a certified letter to the sender stating the service was never authorized and to cease and desist contact and billing, BBB advises.  Business owners can also file a complaint with BBB at www.BBB.org and with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov.

BBB offers the following tips to avoid falling for this scheme:

  • Verify who is calling. Ask for the company’s name, address and phone number, and check them out at www.BBB.org BEFORE giving any information.
  • Watch for fraud. Alert your accounting personnel to be on the lookout for disguised solicitations, fake invoices and fraudulent phone calls. Read offers carefully, including any small print. Look for terms and conditions, as well as costs.
  • Review invoices carefully. Channel all invoices through one person or department in your company. Check all invoices against purchase orders and against goods or services received.  Make certain that order numbers correspond with the invoices, and verify all invoices with the person who gave written or verbal authorization before making payment.
  • Don’t trust Caller ID. Technology allows con artists to spoof the name and number that appears on caller-ID devices.  If you’re not sure if the caller is truly a representative of the organization she or he claims to be, hang up and call the company directly to verify.

ABOUT the BBB
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BBB Serving Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky, founded in 1961 and serving 38 counties in Middle Tennessee and 7 Southern Kentucky counties, is one of 112 local, independent BBBs across North America.