Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

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.

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