Business Directory Scams: Information? Puh-leez.

Listing your business in a directory can be an effective way to advertise the products or services you offer potential customers. But be sure you know what you’re getting for your money... and that you even asked for the listing in the first place.

The FTC recently filed a case against Your Yellow Book, Inc. (YYB), a company that marketed an online directory to businesses and nonprofit organizations nationwide. According to the FTC, YYB charged businesses nearly $500 for listings they never agreed to. They created realistic-looking invoices — even using the well-known “walking fingers” logo. Because the invoices looked so legitimate, some businesses paid them, despite never buying a listing. In all, YYB racked up over $700,000 by deceiving businesses and nonprofits with these bogus charges.

What’s more, says the FTC, actual paying clients of YYB got next to nothing for their money. Directory listings were not featured prominently in online search results. And if people found the directory website, the FTC says it was difficult to navigate. The so-called prominent placements were virtually useless to the businesses who paid for them.

If you run a small business, here are some steps you can take to protect yourself from scammers:

  1. Read the FTC’s information on small business scams, which outlines how con artists target businesses. Share it with your staff, including receptionists and administrative personnel, to help them spot and stop a business scammer.
  2. Designate a point person for office supplies, directory listings, subscriptions, and other things you buy periodically. Tell your staff that all purchasing calls should go through that person, and keep a central file of your usual suppliers.
  3. Use your company's social networks to educate others about the telltale signs of a business scam.
  4. Encourage professional associations or local business groups to issue a warning to members.
  5. Take a minute to share this information in your community — fraudsters often target churches and other nonprofits that depend on volunteers.

And, be sure to report business directory and other scams by filing a complaint with the FTC.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money


Good to find the link

Good to know I can report all those "Google" listings and other irritations! Half my phone calls are from those pests, it's hurting the business since real customers can't get a call through.

Very good and timely article. I have been bombarded with all knids of offers. Today I won a BMW, of course I ignored the message. I am also receiving countless messages on how to become a millionaire by investing in options using an automated program. I have become very good at deleting the messages en masse. The spelling in these messages is atrocious. Thanks for the input.

are other scammers whoprey on consumers. I am currently fighting a group thyat offered asample of a skin cream for $4.99 shipping and handling and two days after I received it the billed my credit card for $89.00. When I called them they told me that it was their continuous shipping and billing clause. I told them to cancel everything and remove the charges after the free sample with $4.99 shipping. They tols me they would cancel all but what I have received and what they have already shipped. I told them I would return the product or send the product to the FTC with a complaint; and FTC would return the peoduct to them with whatever penalties that would arise from their egregious behavior.

I was scammed by a company acting as if they were yellow pages they are called ypedia nothing to do with yellow pages at all. They send out a bill and if you don't pay they send you to their attorney and to collections. I hope that the FTC is aware of this company taking small business owners money.

Same happened to me. They basically harassed me over email and phone. I told them to send me the original documents and they never did. A company called Davis & Jones were the ones that kept calling me. I filed a complaint with the FTC so hopefully something can be done.

Same with me... Davis and Jones literally calls my business 3 times a day. Is anyone who's been a victim of this scam really obligated to pay???

This phone number was very odd trying to contact me :

There is a scam Company in Lexington Kentucky that use telephone numbers (859)756-0230 and (859)493-2500 they pretend to be a discount locksmith, when called they will give you a very low price when they get to you they will drill out your lock and demand 10 times the amount of money quoted if you refuse to pay after your lock is destroyed you will be threatened, also they have been known to impersonate reputable locksmith Company's.. BEWARE they go by 24 hour locksmith and Bigblue locksmith and will tell people that they are Grott and Pop-A-Lock

You can file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at if you are aware of a scam.


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