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Yellow Page scams: Don't be misled by walking fingers

Yellow Page scams: Don't be misled by walking fingers

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Consumer Affairs issued a warning to businesses to watch out for “Yellow Page” scams in which businesses are deceived into purchasing ads they don’t want or didn’t knowingly authorize. As the article states, Yellow Page companies are notorious for using “activation” check schemes. Typically the business receives a small check that, when deposited, triggers a monthly payment for advertising. Fine print on the back above the endorsement line stated that by depositing the checks, the recipient agreed to purchase advertising from the company. The Attorney General’s Office has sued and settled with a few of these companies, including YPCorp and Yellow Pages, Inc.

Business owners sometimes fall victim to these schemes because they associate their local Yellow Pages with the iconic “walking fingers” logo. According to Consumer Affairs, the “walking fingers” logo can freely be used by anyone in the U.S.  and “Yellow Pages” is a generic term that can be used by your local phone company, a Web site or a scammer.

Posted by AGO Blog Moderator at 08/17/2007 03:08:58 PM | 


I continue to receive billing from Yellow Pages for a listing that was not authorized by me. [BLOG MODERATOR'S REPLY - Bob, please file a complaint with our office if the company is located in Washington or you reside here.]
Posted by: Bob Buchanan ( Email ) at 11/10/2008 5:45 PM


i've been working to promote the yellow pages for years. incidences like this is really one of the reasons why more and more people are staying away from the medium. [AGO BLOG MODERATOR'S COMMENT: A link to a blog and commercial Web site was removed from this comment.]
Posted by: Tom St. Louis ( Email ) at 3/29/2009 11:46 AM


I received a bill from [EDITED BY AGO BLOG MODERATOR - NAME OF YELLOW PAGES COMPANY] out of Philadelphia, PA. We did not order this advertising and it seems to ring true as a scam. Since they are based in Washington State, where would I report this?
Posted by: Matt Clifton ( Email ) at 6/24/2009 9:56 AM


Matt,

According to the BBB, that company is based in Philadelphia, PA -- not in Washington State. So file your complaint with the Pennsylvania AGO. Or if you are a Washington State resident, you may also file here at www.atg.wa.gov/fileacomplaint.aspx.

Thanks, Kristin
Posted by: KRISTIN ALEXANDER - ALL CONSUMING MODERATOR ( Email ) at 8/6/2009 6:05 PM


I have a situation where an employee signed one of those postcards they send you thinking they were making corrections to the free listing the phone company provides, this "yellow page" company has been sending us collection notices with a copy of the original card. I don't want to pay this, what can I do, if anything, to get them to go away?
Posted by: Jennifer Knutsen ( Email ) at 7/6/2011 11:41 AM


I have been dealing with Yellow Page Network or YMG Publishing who have been calling me repeatedly for payment for advertising. They refuse to mail me any invoices for this so called service I may have unknowingly agreed to and have started threatening to take me to court over this. I have filed a complaint with the Attorney General's office in Washington state where I live and the Federal Trade Commission. Is there any thing else I can do to stop this? [BLOG MODERATOR'S REPLY - Bobb, you have done the right thing by filing complaints with our office and the FTC.]
Posted by: Bobbi Harrington ( Email ) at 9/12/2011 11:37 AM


I thought a real yellow page fax indicating free Facebook ad. I filled out a form and returned it. Now I'm getting $1188 invoices and reminders from a scam. The company notes operations in Moscow and Dubai. It's YELLOW-PAGE USA.COM.

Please advise what I can do. I faxed them back and told them they aren't the yellow page and I'm not paying them. They sent the form back to me I filled out, with blurred bottom writing. Please help me. Alan Weintraub 360-887-7810
Posted by: Alan Weintraub ( Email ) at 12/29/2011 1:40 AM


I got a call today from Yellow Pages Online. I promptly told them , as always, that I wasn't interested, that my company wasn't interested, we never want to do business with them, and so on. She told me we needed to pay for the past year of a listing. I told her we never authorized a listing, never wanted a listing, and would never, ever consider using any yellow page advertising, which we do not use, for any reason.
She told me she was sending my file over to their collection department, then hung up.
The call came from Florida, number 941-932-4045, and when you call back it has a recording that this isn't a working number.
This scam has been going on for years, and our attorney general has done nothing to stop it. Why? [ALL COMSUMING MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: The Attorney General’s Office has warned business about Yellow Page Scams (http://www.atg.wa.gov/BlogPost.aspx?id=17634) and filed a lawsuit against Yellow Pages, Inc. in 2005 (http://www.atg.wa.gov/pressrelease.aspx?&id=4814).]
Posted by: David Losh ( Email ) at 3/14/2012 10:44 AM


How do I stop US Yellow Pages from calling our church office, sending e-mails and calling members homes? This is an ongoing issue since May 2012. I can not put them on the do not call list as the caller ID is out of area. Need to stop these annoying communication with US Yellow Pages. [ALL CONSUMING MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: Individuals can place their cell and home phone numbers on the Do Not Call list, telemarketers are required to remove anyone from their list that is on the DNC. If telemarketers continue to call then you should contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-888-382-1222 and report them. The church and members can block emails through their service providers. If the Caller ID is coming up blocked or Out of Area the best advice we have is to not answer those calls. Generally when someone stops answering and communicating with telemarketers they will stop calling and move on.]
Posted by: Beverly Bergeron ( Email ) at 1/8/2013 10:57 AM


Several years ago my business fell victim to these scammers. This must be profitable for these folks because they keep on keeping on.
This week I received a fax claiming that I owe $676.80. I sent a reply letter by fax declining his request for something I have never authorized. I also asked if this was the same yellow pages company that was sued by the Georgia State Attorney General for harassing small business owners and churches in that state.
Posted by: Robert Gilpin ( Email ) at 2/28/2013 3:33 PM


I thought I was placing an order for a free 'real' yellow pages directory listing. I filled out a form and faxed it. Now I'm getting $1238 invoices and reminders. The company notes operations in Boston, Moscow and Dubai. It's YELLOW-PAGE-USA.COM. I was mislead and thought this was a free service.

I attempted to cancel invoice/order PF-108915_01 on 03/11/13 by email as instructed by Tiffaney Berger of customer service. She said I was within cancellation period and to ignore payment notice. Since then I was invoiced 5 more times. On March 11, they faxed the form back to me I filled out, with blurred bottom writing.

I sent a 2nd email cancellation request on 04/23/13. In addition to emails, I made 5 phone calls: March 11 & 12, April 23, May 2 & 21, 2013. To date, I received 6 bills; 4 received in the mail and two by fax.

I called them and told them they are a scam, I'm not paying them and I'm reporting them to the Better Business Bureau. I will not communicate with them anymore. Today, I reported them to econsumer.gov.
Posted by: Patricia Thomas ( Email ) at 5/21/2013 7:12 PM


I too have the identical bill and offices listed on my bill from www.yellow-page-usa.com
and I too have received what they say is the 6th reminder... for $1238
I would like to know who in particular to contact to cover myself in case of ridiculous legal action as well as to report it as fraud and a scam... and to cease these notices from being faxed to me !! Thank you
[Blog Post Manager Comment (lw)] please file a complaint with our office if the company is located in Washington or you reside here
Posted by: liz marx ( Email ) at 10/8/2013 9:01 PM


I am reporting them to BBB, I just spoke with the lady answering their phones and they told me CHRIS PRIZE, is the person responsible for these fraudulent invoices. We have received 8 invoices via fax about an outstanding balance, and I replied saying this is fraudulent, they are not the REAL yellow pages, yet using their name.
Posted by: Jackie ( Email ) at 10/17/2013 5:58 AM


We could never contact this"Yellow-Page-USA.Com. Never could locate an ad for us. They are still sending us threatening letters. Over a year now.
Thankyou.
A.Blumberg
Posted by: A.Blumberg ( Email ) at 10/17/2013 11:59 AM


I worked online with YP.com for a free listing, updated my information and submitted it. In one hour i received a fax from Yellow pages Oregon, believing it was the same company i was working with online i corrected my phone number, signed, dated and faxed back. I received a bill for $1188.00 one month later from Yellow pages USA or Open Business Directory Ltd. These people have hounded me for payment via mail that comes from Europe or Fax that comes every day with a copy of my signed document and an add in their online service. They say i am locked in for two years and can not cancel, i spoke to lady named Tiffany and she said, 'her notes state i have cancelled and that the bills just go out automatically". what a scam. I have reported them to the Department of Justice and BBB, any body recommend anything else that can be done?

Blog Post Comment Manager (KD): I would strongly suggest filing a complaint with this office’s Consumer Resource Center at http://www.atg.wa.gov/FileAComplaint.aspx.
Posted by: Chris Smith ( Email ) at 10/25/2013 7:54 AM


Recieved a bill and then a reminder from Yellow-Page-US.com. Asking for $1188. The service office is listed in Switzerland and the legal office in Dubai. Anyone else? Any suggestions besides ignoring them and hope nothing ever comes of it?
AGO Blog Manager Comment (lw): Please contact our Consumer Protection Division at 800-551-4636 between 10 am and 3pm
Posted by: Bill ( Email ) at 2/25/2014 1:37 PM


Bill who posted on 2/25/14....we have the same thing happening to us. Switzerland/Dubai and the bill is $1188. But this is posting on the Washington State Attorney General website?? Is there somewhere else we should be contacting?
AGO Blog Comment Manager (lw): Please contact our Consumer Protection Division 206-587-5502 for more information between 10 am-3pm Pacific Time.
Posted by: L. Kiser ( Email ) at 2/26/2014 10:24 AM


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