Yellow Page Invoice Scam

  
     
BBB has seen an uptick in directory scams (or “Yellow Pages scams”) aimed at small businesses. Reports to BBB Scam Tracker (bbb.org/scamtracker) have increased dramatically in recent weeks, and BBB is reminding business owners and employees not to fall for this trick.
May 12, 2016

National Fax Scams Have Reached Ohio Businesses, Including Your BBB

Toledo, OH - Better Business Bureau is warning businesses to beware of misleading faxes that have reached NW and West Central Ohio.  A few NW Ohio company’s reported receiving an invoice via fax, demanding immediate payment for Facebook and Twitter listing services they didn’t ask for. The fake fax even reached BBB’s office, demanding payment for services BBB is not participating in.

The faxes originate from American Yellow Group Inc., which also uses the names Yellow Pages Inc. and American Yellow Distribution Inc. The faxes and emails display the recognizable walking fingers symbol and asks for payments to be made to postal boxes in Bulgaria.

American Yellow Group Inc, has an “F” rating with BBB serving Metro D.C. for failing to respond to complaints and a Federal Trade Commission judgment of 1.2 million dollars.

BBB wants businesses to be aware of these faxed invoices for alleged advertising. The invoice is consistently for $498.95 and claims the bill is for Facebook and Twitter features. Each fax is identified as a “collection warning” and says: “Last Chance to Protect Your Credit Score in Good Standing!!!” and “this file is referred to debt collectors.”

Each invoice states the bill is past due and is being referred to collections. The bills use an address in Varna, Bulgaria, but responses to complaints filed with BBB have sometimes come from General Credit Protection, Inc. in Washington, D.C.

BBB offers the following tips to businesses who receive questionable invoices for alleged services:

  • Research the sender to make sure the company is trustworthy. Contact BBB or search for their Business Review on bbb.org.
  • If you receive an invoice, make sure you owe the money before sending payment. Be careful of schemes that use names identical or similar to actual businesses.
  • Federal law generally prohibits a company sending faxes to businesses unless there is a previous business relationship. If you feel a company is violating the law, contact the Federal Communications Commission by going to fcc.gov or calling 888-225-5322.

 

If you feel you are a victim of a scam, contact your local BBB, your Attorney General’s office, or the Federal Trade Commission toll-free at 877-382-4357.

Use BBB’s Scam Tracker to report a scam to BBB or find scams in your area at bbb.org/scamtracker.

For more information, follow your BBB on on Facebook, Twitter, or at bbb.org.

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