Culprits are using a familiar logo to fool business owners in a new scam.
The scammers, Yellow Page Editions, are using a logo that is familiar to the Yellow Pages logo to fool the businesses.
"I work hard to make ends meet," said business owner Al Lehne. "I'm not giving someone something because they're slick on the internet. That ain't happening."
Lehne was almost scammed when he got an unexpected call about the phonebook listing for his construction and tobacco knife businesses.
The caller said they were with the Yellow Page service and only asked one question.
"I was under the impression that they were a company I already had working for me," said Lehne. "They just asked if they could send me an invoice. I told them they could send me an invoice."
The bill arrived with the similar logo, which can be deceiving. The amount on the invoice didn't fool Lehne.
"After the second day of making unpleasant phone calls to them, they finally said not to worry about it and I didn't have to pay for anything," said Lehne.
Then a second invoice arrived requesting immediate payment.
"I didn't get any new flow of customers or traffic whatsoever, so the service is bogus as far as I'm concerned," said Lehne.
Lehne contacted the Better Business Bureau and Yellow Page Editions has quite the reputation. During the last 12 months, the company has received at least 80 complaints on the Better Business Bureau's web site.
"You are a target for businesses that go into business for one simple reason. They want to defraud other businesses," said Kathleen Calligan, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee.
The phony lookalike Yellow Page bills are all part of a multi-billion-dollar scam.
"Remember if you are advertising in the Yellow Pages, the invoice won't come separately. It will come in your regular monthly phone bill," Calligan said.
The Better Business Bureau does offer an education program for businesses to protect themselves from scammers. Click for information.
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