You receive a fax from what you think is the Yellow Pages. The fax includes the “walking fingers” logo we’re all familiar with. The fax asks you to update your information for your local Yellow Pages listing. What would you do?
If you’re like the thousands of business owners in the U.S., Canada, and Australia who did receive this fax and didn’t read the fine print, you’d probably fill in your contact information and send the form back without a second thought. Unfortunately, what the fine print revealed is that by returning the form, these business owners agreed to pay $89 a month for a two-year listing on a non-Yellow Pages online business directory.
This scam is alleged to have been perpetrated by a company based in Europe called Yellow Pages Marketing B.V., which collected millions of dollars in fees from U.S. small business owners alone. The company is now the target of a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
We’ve all heard this before, but it bears repeating: Always read the fine print.
For more on this scam, see The Wall Street Journal’s In Charge blog.