Suppose one day you get a call from an unfamiliar person while you’re at work. It’s from a company wanting to verify your business contact information for a directory. This practice is not unusual, so you confirm the information. It is public information, after all. Later on, you get an expensive bill for an online business directory.
The Federal Trade Commission wants you to be on high alert if you receive a call from someone asking to verify your business information. They say that three telemarketing agencies in Canada who allegedly did business under names such as “Your Yellow Pages and “Online Yellow Pages Today,” are targeting small U.S. offices.
These companies tend to target smaller businesses with fewer resources. Additionally, these companies then may alter the original call to make it sound like someone consented, may harass the business, and even may threaten to take legal action.
You don’t have to be a victim of this scam. First and foremost, never send money to anyone without verifying they work for a legitimate business. The FTC suggests going to the Better Business website and reading the company’s report.
Secondly, keep a close eye on bills and invoices. Take additional action by filing a complaint with the FTC if you receive a bogus bill.
Above all, don’t send any money. Even if the scammer offers you a refund or a “discount” for the directory listing, don’t accept it. You should not have to pay to stop harassment.