Scammers targeting businesses claiming to offer ads in non-existent directories

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More Eye on Scams

Experts are warning businesses and organizations of directory scams.

This scam attempts to fool businesses into paying for a listing or ad space in a non-existent directory… all to get your money.    

“Sometimes, they use Yellow Pages or Bayou Pages or any one of those names,” Chris Babin, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana said. “Names that are reputable and do actually have good directories, and they pretend as though they’re representing those, when in reality, they’re not.”

When the scammer gets the company on the phone, they will claim to be updating their directory and ask for basic information.

 “They’ll call any business organization saying that they’re representing a particular directory and that they just need information on the company, and they want to verify some information so that they can get that new directory listing that they’re going to sell to them up-to-date,” Babin said. ​​​​​​​

After the company confirms the listing, it will receive an invoice for several hundred dollars for a non-existent ad in the directory.

“A lot of times when the businesses are calling these scammers back, either the number doesn’t work, or in rare and extreme cases when the number does work, they reach the scammer, and they’re ready for this, and they have those phone calls when they originally called you recorded. They’ve spliced them together to make it sound like you’re committing agreeing to these charges,” explained Babin.

Below are tips from the Better Business Bureau to help you avoid directory scams:

  • Make sure you don’t commit right away. Most reputable companies will not pressure you to enter into an agreement during your first conversation.
  • Exercise caution. You don’t know whether the information the scammer is sharing with you is the truth.
  • Research the company. 

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