Protecting small businesses from fake advertising solicitations
(NC) – Each year, hundreds of thousands of Canada's small businesses use Yellow Pages Group (YPG) products to advertise their goods and services in online, mobile and print media. Of those businesses, some may also receive fraudulent solicitations or invoices from companies masquerading as YPG or its various brands. The most common type of fraudulent activity in this area relates to print directory advertising.
“The Yellow Pages brand has a longstanding reputation for trusted local information and effective solutions to help small businesses grow their client base. Unscrupulous companies know this and have created elaborate materials in the guise of the Yellow Pages brand to attempt to dupe small businesses into signing advertising agreements or paying fake invoices associated with fringe or non-existent directories,” said François Ramsay, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel for Yellow Pages Group.
Ramsay cautions small business owners to be wary of solicitations that differ from their normal interaction with their Yellow Pages Group sales representative and of solicitations under the banner of Canpages, a discontinued print directory of YPG.
Small businesses should keep the following in mind when examining any suspicious solicitation or invoice:
• Beware of variations on the Yellow Pages Group name or logo.
• Always check the address of the company for a Canadian location as YPG is a Canadian company.
• Be wary of fax communications. YPG never conducts business through unsolicited faxes.
• Never sign a document you have not properly read.
• When in person, ask to see the representative's business card and a copy of the current year's directory.
• Never pay any invoice immediately. Check your files for contracts to ensure you ordered the advertising.
• Never pay an invoice for advertising you did not order or sign for.
• Contact your YPG sales consultant to ensure your advertising program and invoice are correct.
• If you are unsure of the legitimacy of an invoice or solicitation, contact YPG Client Services at 1 877 909-9356
• When a scam is detected, ensure all your accounts payable staff are made aware.
For more information on fighting fraud in small businesses and examples of fraudulent directory solicitations at: yellowpages360solution.ca/fraud.
Small businesses are encouraged to report suspicious businesses or fraudulent solicitations to the Competition Bureau of Canada at 1 800 348-5358 and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1 888 495-8501.
If you suspect your business may have fallen victim to an external scam, contact your local Better Business Bureau chapter for information on your legal rights.
Word count: 406
Articles are provided free of charge. Articles appearing on web sites, must credit www.newscanada.com. Articles appearing in Print, must credit News Canada with (NC) at beginning of an article or – News Canada at the end. Any source/sponsor of the information quoted in the text must also be identified as presented. Images are only to be used with corresponding editorial copy. Usage of News Canada articles constitutes your acceptance of these terms and an agreement between you and News Canada.
Image Instructions - Note: Illegal to use without News Canada editorial.
To open/download image(s) used in this article, please click the following links:Click here for image file: «76802H.jpg»