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These have been around a long time.

You get a phone call or a bill for something that is about to be published- but you know nothing about it. It might be for a listing or an ad. in a magazine or a business directory. Sometimes it might come as a proposal for a subscription disguised as an invoice for an entry in a bogus international directory. (Several times I’ve declined to be listed in a business Who’s Who.) It can also be setup as a free entry – and you get hit with a payment later.

The scammer might also quote a genuine entry. Scammers have even taken a listing from the fore-runner of the ACA Guide and reproduced it in a fax and claimed it as an approved listing.

Or you get an request to pay for renewing your domain name – only problem is, while the invoice looks genuine, it’s from another company, not where your domain is registered, or the domain is slightly different and you don’t look closely enough.

How to protect yourself against directory scams.

$2.7 million penalty for fake “Yellow Pages” directory scam

The Federal Court in Melbourne has imposed penalties totalling $2.7 million against two overseas companies, Yellow Page Marketing BV (YPM) and Yellow Publishing Limited (YPL), for sending thousands of Australian businesses misleading faxes and invoices in an attempt to obtain subscriptions to their online business directories.

The ACCC alleged that between May 2010 and November 2010, YPM and YPL misled thousands of businesses into thinking they were dealing with Sensis Pty Ltd Yellow Pages®, a business well known around Australia. The YPM and YPL companies sent faxes and invoices that contained the words ‘Yellow Page’ and a ‘Walking Fingers’ logo.

Telling ACCC
You can report SCAMS online via the ACCC’s SCAMWATCH website- OR you can contact the Scamwatch ACCC Infocentre on 1300 795 995.