Have you ever received an invoice for a business directory listing that you never ordered? Perhaps you had experienced the following scenario.
You received a phone call from a telemarketing company claiming that someone (could be your ex-employee) from your office had previously authorized the purchase of business listing in a business directory, and they would like to verify your business information, such as company name, address, telephone and fax number. This so called verification would lead you to believe that your business has already been listed in their business directory.
Shortly, you received an invoice, typically between $399 and $798, in the mail or fax for your “order”. A few days or one week later, someone from the Account Receivables department called to collect the payment for your company listing. If you refused to pay the invoice, the caller would harrass you and even threatened to initiate a legal action against you, and also forwarded your invoice to a debt-collection agency that could damage your credit rating.
Well, if this scenario happened to you, please be on your guard. You could be a victim of a business directory scam.
Here are what you should do if you received a phone call from a collector:
1. Do NOT under any circumstances send these scammers money.
2. Tell him/her that you are not going to pay for the invoice, and let this scammer know that you are going to take the actions outlined in the step 3 and 4.
3. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by visiting the the FTC website (http://www.ftc.gov) or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
4. Report the scam to your local Better Business Bureau and your state Attorney General.
Remember folks, you are NOT obliged to pay for services that you never requested or ordered. Last, your credit rating will NEVER be damaged/ruined just because of not paying this business directory scam.
To help you recognize this scam, here is a list of companies known to scam small businesses:
- ABI Publications
- B2B IPages – Chicago, IL
- Business Data Center – Plattsburgh, NY
- Canadian BizOnline
- Canadian Media Pages
- ClearView Corporate Communication, Inc. – Chicago, IL
- Canora Pages – Montreal, QC
- Commutel Marketing – Montreal, QC and Victoria, BC
- Empire Direct Group – Plattsburgh, NY
- DataSource411 – Montreal, QC and Rochester, NY
- Horizon Data Inc. – Champlain, NY
- Info US411 – Middletown, DE
- Infotel Publications – Montreal, QC
- National Business Information Exchange (NBIE) Inc. – Montreal, QC and Chesapeake Beach, MD
- Reed Publishing aka Reed Directories
- Target Publications – Ansonia, CT and Champlain, NY
- Tradeshow Data Center – Plattsburg, NJ
- YourCompanyListing.com (a spin off of NBIE Inc.) – Montreal, QC and Chesapeake Beach, MD
- YourYellowURL – Ottawa, ON and Watertown, MA
The list will go on and on… so please share with us if you know any of similiar companies.