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The business directory scam strikes again

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You work at a small business, nonprofit, church, or local government agency, and you get a call: Someone wants you to confirm your contact information for a directory. Sure, no problem.   

But there is a problem: Soon, you’re opening an invoice for hundreds of dollars for a listing in an online business directory — something you never asked for or wanted.

The FTC is alleging that three telemarketing agencies in Canada, which did business under names like Your Yellow Pages and OnlineYellowPagesToday, used that very m.o. to target small offices in the U.S.

According to the FTC, the scam didn’t always stop with the invoice. When people disputed the invoices, the companies pointed to recordings of their initial calls — sometimes using edited or altered versions — to “prove” that employees had okayed the charges. Businesses or organizations that still refused to pay got harassing calls telling them they’d owe interest and legal fees and would be reported to credit reporting agencies. Sometimes, the FTC alleged, the scammers went even further, pretending to be debt collection companies, getting people to pay for a promise that they wouldn’t call again. In the face of threats, many people just paid.

So what can you do to protect your business or organization from this kind of fraud?

  1. Train your staff. Educate your employees about how these scams work. In fact, send them a link to this blog post and article.
  1. Inspect your invoices. Depending on the size and nature of your business, consider implementing a purchase order system to make sure you’re paying only legitimate expenses. At a minimum, designate a small group of employees with authority to approve purchases and pay the bills.
  1. Verify to clarify. Check a company out for free at, and read the BBB’s report on them. Also try doing an online search using the company name and words like “complaint” or “scam.”
  1. File a complaint. If you’re getting bogus bills, file a complaint with the FTC at and with the BBB. Complaints help shape the FTC’s law enforcement agenda, so it’s important to sound off when you spot a scam. Concerned about business directory fraudsters’ threats to tarnish your credit if you don’t pay? Many will simply drop the matter — and may even provide a refund — if they know you’ve complained. If the scheme involved the U.S. mail, submit a Mail Fraud Complaint Form to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. You also can alert your state Attorney General.
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Certainly the open data policy at has initiated a lot of phony websites and businesses. Is this a concern to anyone else?

Yes - We got the a mail from company called National yellow pages / Yellow pages united & asked to confirm name of business. Now they are sending invoice for $300 & threatening to go collections. Many small business owners are paying for it. We should stop this :(

Lady identifying herself as Sarah just called stating we were in collection and owed $$$ for advertising online. Never heard of them. BEWARE this is a SCAM!

I just got the same call! Told him not to call me again and hung up!

I get hundreds of spam emails, and its mostly sex oriented. i am tired of deleting them ever couple of hours...what can i do to eliminate this problem?

Change your screen name you are asking for trouble.

change your handle (tag name)

Great to know because I was scam two weeks ago for cash and I do not have the money to pay the bank back I had to file for early retirement benefit.It will take me 6 months to pay

This happened to me. Horrible

ilive in england this is happening to me i have a small business same as you guys i dont know what to do.

This is horrible. It happened to me. And they keep calling.

@FoxyLady... I don't know what e-mail service you use. Public, or free, e-mail services have horrible spam filters. Try using one provided by your internet provider, or buying a paid e-mail name.

I have argued unsuccessfully for the last 2 years that I don't owe the debt to yellow pages america because its a scam. Its now turned over to a "collection agency" out of Ireland who I have no inclination to pay as well. I had filled out a fax with the info.. My mistake, but I didn't pay them thank goodness.

stop payments don't pay scammers. arrest them

Many telemarketing scammers are using Google Voice or Pinger as well so it's often very difficult (if not impossible) to trace them or find out who they really are.

Is it a scam?

I signed up for training on how to start your own web business, and I think I am getting ripped off and don't know where to go for help, I am waiting for the other shoe to drop!

I have had the same thing with commercial directory. The fax came through for free listings which had a charge in the small print now am getting bills with charges and threatening collection agencies

Don't use usdirectory!! big scam!!

just got suspicious after I gave them my credit card info

Well, giving away your credit card information over the phone is definitely a big NO NO!

i receive the call again , and my mistake i give them my email to send me the facture, and also i request the voice contract that they talk about. is fraud i know

Whenever you talk to a telemarketer, do not use the word "Yes" while talking to them. This will make it much harder for them to alter audio to make it sound like you agree. There is no "Yes" for them to edit in after a "You agree to pay this?". I've had some get frustrated and demand I answer in "Yes" or "No" responses.

Of all the websites that claim "free" listings for businesses, I have found none that are free. Every singe one is a hustle.

Speak Klingon, drives them nuts.


Just simply say your not interested and hang up! If you think that is too rude, then stay on the line with them and ask questions of who they are, where did they get your number from, what part of 'not interested' didn't they get, etc. until they rudely hang up on you.

Since 2012, I have been receiving faxed bills for $1188 from a company called Open Business Directory (which also uses the alias Yellow Pages USA, and the alias Open Business Solutions). They claim that I made a contract to list my business on their service. I have never been listed anywhere with Open Business Directory, and I have never made a contract with them. They now claim that I owe them over $5000. In my case, information that Open Business Directory claims to have listed online does not even contain the correct address of my business. This proves that this information was not provided by me or anyone at my company. (We know the correct address of our business). Yet I have been receiving faxed invoices for $1238 (they added a $50 late fee) and now 5 years later, I am receiving a bill for more than $5000 and a threat of legal action. I have called them and informed them that I have not made any contract for any services from them. They refuse to provide any documentation to support their false claim that I agreed to this service, and I have refused to pay them anything. I have reported them to the Better Business Bureau and they provided some long rambling response that said nothing, and the phony invoices continued. I also contacted the Federal Trade Commission and filed a report with them. The FTC officer said that they are aware of this company and its fraudulent practices. I have never seen any online listing from this company. Also, the fraudulent invoices that this company faxes to me include a telephone number and a fax number. Open Business Directory which claims to be an online listing service does not even have a website. The letter that the company faxes demanding payment lists a telephone number and a fax number, but it does not even list a website for the company. How can a company that does not even have its own website sell online business listings? Open Business Directory is a completely fraudulent company. I have now been receiving threatening faxes from Open Business Directory for 5 years. They are still threatening legal action. However,I will never pay them one penny because I have not m 10 made any contract with them. This company is a complete scam.

There is also another company called Local Business Guide. Same thing, different name. Said we signed up for something we did not. Multiple threats of collection. Told them to take me to court, don't hear from them for a year, then more threats with higher bills. Pay us this amount now and we will leave you alone. Sent them closer letters, everything, but the bills keep coming. DON'T PAY THEM!!!!

I have been receiving calls from someone claiming I verbally agreed to some sort of online business directory. They claim to have a recorded verbal acceptance, of which I have never heard. Plus they claim to have mailed several invoices of which I haven't seen one. Then they ask for my fax which I refuse to give them. If the are hosting some kind of site they should have all that info. A few times I have said stated that I am not in and they refuse a message or phone number. I seriousley have no idea who these people are

A company called World Business List P.O. Box 34 · 3700 AA · Zeist · The Netherlands, Fax: +31 205 248 107 sent me a form and asked us to filled for the listing mentioning that update is free. Now they are asking us to pay a significant amount and involved a collection company from Netherlands to collect payment from us. Anybody received similar scam, kindly let us know how we can permanently stop these company from these types of fraud. Looking forward to your co-operation.

Has anyone else had dealings with "OBP supersearch" (Optimal Business Guide - which doesn't correspond with OBP?) Claiming we asked for a free year, and they are billing for a second year at $800+ We have no recollection of taking the service. Asked them to produce proof and they play a recording of a previous collection call from them when we asked "send me an invoice". Call today included recording of them asking if we wanted the service and our owner saying "yes".. Feels like a scam. they have a virtual address in NYC. Any others dealt with them? Scott Andrews is one name used.

If you’re getting bogus bills, file a complaint with the FTC at and with the BBB.

Hi, we got a similar call from them. Our employee was under the impression that he was canceling an account and said yes to them sending an invoice for the remaining balance. They sent us an invoice for $800+ as well and played a recording of him agreeing to them sending the invoice and say it's proof of him confirming the purchase. It definitely feels like a scam to us. What did you end up doing?

just got a thing in the mail'''THIS IS NOT A BILL' from them and almost sent it in---then i looked them up and promptly shredded it

I recently advertised in the Yellow Pages and now I get calls from these scammers 10 or more times a day. I ignore them. They get now info from me. Tempted to give them the info from another scammer "company" but I just want to stay out of it.

I tried to have a loan from crystal suttle loan company.its a scam shes a hacker ripping off money

Has anyone been contacted by Premium Business Pages??
They keep saying they have verbal agreement for online services and sends me invoice. I have filed a complaint with BBB

I just got a call from Premium Business Pages yesterday. Any time I suspect fraud, I'm UBER-DILIGENT about taking notes. I dug in my archives, because I'd had a similar situation with a different company (of course, it never turned out to be anything). These people, however, (Premium)...they are RIDICULOUS. I called them out on their scam. Before they faxed me the invoice, they insisted on knowing the method of payment I'd prefer to use. My response: "I need to authenticate the legitimacy of this invoice, as I have NO RECORD of utilizing this company...the verification information (both name and address) was inaccurate (we'd moved AND changed the company name before that)." They've still not faxed the BS invoice--not surprised.

OBP Super Search - These guys just called... caller id said "PRIVATE" so that sends up a red flag. This guy said his name was Derrick Johnson, or so he says it is. I told him I never heard of them and never agreed to anything. He then said he'd send a copy of what they did for us the past 2 years along with his business card. I just told him cancel our account. From what I've read in these posts, it's interesting to know that they are possibly recording the conversation. Not once was it mentioned that the call was being recorded. If it was, that's completely illegal in itself. I've had it with these people. OBP Super Search in my opinion is a complete scam.

We're getting the same calls from OBP Supersearch. I searched for our so-called listing, it is no where to be found. I never approved anything, I am only an administrator and am not authorized to charge anything over $100. We are reporting it.

Received a bill via OBP I briefly recall answering questions verifying company and contact information months ago and they apparently recorded my voice saying "Yes" and "that's correct" to questions verifying company information but then did the old switcharoo where they use these answers applied to questions approving advertisement with them. It's the old Bait and Switch routine. They keep calling and resending the bills but it's not getting paid! Period!

Invicta Digital Media is another one to add to the list, same scam.

Another one to add to the list is Canadian Business Phone Book and/or Great Solutions. They go by both names. Address listed in in Quebec. They say they have a voice recording from a former employee approving it. I responded "not likely, as approvals have to be made by me". Said they'd 'mail' a copy to me. lol. Told the man I'd call him back once I investigated, but he said he didn't have a phone number to give me. He volunteered their customer service line, but only gave me the number when I asked. 1-866-774-8147. Surprise, surprise... It's not in service.

"Canadian Business Phone Book" strikes again. Phone number 18449403134 ex 289. I seen another scam site that listed the same number from a year ago. Offering us "services" that essentially useless if you know anything about web advertising and google SEO. Stay away from this scam.... its all soooo fishy - is this a scam??
I got a email saying many jobs available for did they get hold of my email address??

Well they are at it again and thank God this article popped up on Google so thank you for posting this article. I just received an email wanting me to confirm mine today 1/10/20.

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