According to the Better Business Bureau of Utah (BBB of Utah), a Florida company is leaving a black mark on legitimate local Yellow Pages.
In a media release, the BBB of Utah said it received a complaint Thursday from a Salt Lake City business that was solicited by a company called Your Yellow Pages. Your Yellow Pages claimed to be a local yellow page directory, but it's actually based in Clearwater, Fla., and, according to the BBB of Clearwater, has more than 50 unresolved complaints against it and an "F" rating.
Jane Driggs, president and chief executive of the BBB of Utah, said it's a familiar scam.
"This is something we hear complaints about every couple of years," Driggs said. Bogus yellow page companies "are just in it to get money and once they have it, they go out of business."
Driggs said the scam occurs when the person who answers the phone agrees to buy yellow page advertising from the suspect company and accounting pays the bill without checking the legitimacy of the invoice.
"So often the person answering the phone is new and the financial person just pays the bill," she said. "It usually runs into hundreds of dollars, so it's up to a business to warn their employees to watch out for this."
She advises companies to educate their employees about this kind of sales pitch and route all such calls to an assigned person. That person should contact their local Yellow Pages representative if there's any doubt.
If you suspect a scammer, you can file a complaint with the BBB of Utah, the Utah Division of Consumer Protection, the Federal Trade Commission or the Yellow Page Association.
Driggs said the Salt Lake City business that filed the complaint did not want to be identified, but added it's a construction and welding company with 25 employees that's been in business for eight years.
If your business receives a Yellow Pages telemarketing call or invoice:
Ask for product info in writing before agreeing to pay.
Look over each bill closely before paying it. Bogus invoices often say, "This is not a bill" or lack a phone number.
Have all invoices go through one person or department and make sure they're cleared by the assigned executive before cutting a check.
Source: BBB of Utah