One of the most common scams aimed at businesses - the business directory scam - is on the rise yet again.
A Drumheller dealership received a phone call from a representative at 411 Business Directory Assistance advising they owed money for an outstanding bill. This individual asked for a credit card number over the phone to process the payment. The dealership requested a copy of the invoice which was sent. The dealership did their due diligence and searched the company with the Better Business Bureau and found the following warning;
-THIS BUSINESS IS NOT BBB ACCREDITED-
411 Business Directory Assistance Inc.
The dealer also searched the Edmonton company address and found it to be a parking lot stall.
These telemarketers made three misrepresentations that violate the FTC Act. First, they led the dealership to believe that there was a pre-existing relationship between them. Second, they falsely claimed that this dealership had agreed to purchase directory listing services. Third, they falsely claimed that the dealership owed money for these supposed services.
Take the following steps to protect your company from business directory fraud.
- Train your staff to spot this scam
- Inspect your invoices
- Verify to clarify
- File a complaint
Here are what you should do if you receive a phone call from a collector:
1. Do NOT under any circumstances send these scammers money.
2. Tell him/her that you are not going to pay for the invoice, and let this scammer know
that you are going to take the actions outlined in step 3 and 4.
3. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by visiting the FTC website.
(http://www.ftc.gov) or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
4. Report the scam to your local Better Business Bureau.
Thank you for your diligence in this matter.