One of the most common scams that target businesses is one that uses the ruse of a business directory to extract payment. Sometimes, in the perpetration of this scheme, the scammer will get some sort of verbal commitment from a junior employee. Every business, regardless of size, should have very clear purchase authorization guidelines, to avoid this situation. In other, more sophisticated versions, the scammers record a call, and then splice parts of it together to make it sound like the business owner agreed to purchase a listing.The emails which follow can be very threatening and frightening in nature. They frequently threaten collections action against the company, and reputational harm. A recent example, forwarded from a company in Nova Scotia to BBB Serving the Atlantic Provinces, read as follows:“As per our call the recording is legal and binding you can make false claims all you want we will counter claim and place a banner stating nonpayment so everyone on our site and Google will see you don’t pay your bills and steal advertisement you can say false comments many companies have complaints but you still have to pay…”If you receive a call offering a listing in a print or online business directory, be cautious and guarded. Ensure during the call that you don’t say anything that directly authorizes or confirms a purchase; ask for information to be sent to you instead (and verify that the company is legitimate, by checking bbb.org). If you have staff that answer phone calls, make sure they’re aware of this scam as well.If you own or operate a small business, protect yourself from being victimized by this scam. Click here to read BBB's tips for avoiding the directory scam.