Small Businesses: Don’t Fall for Yellow Pages Scams

Small Businesses: Don’t Fall for Yellow Pages Scams

Running a small business involves continuous interaction with vendors and their paperwork. Recently, our firm received a call then follow up mailer verifying our firm’s contact information for a business directory. The next thing I knew, we were facing one of the many Yellow Pages scams. It’s a reminder that any company is susceptible, and many dole out hard earned dollars because they are unaware of the scam or heed to the scammers’ threats.

Here is how it works: The scammers claim to verify company information, then send invoices for hundreds of dollars. The invoices include the Yellow Pages name in some form, and the “walking fingers” logo. Many companies will simply pay, not realizing that the company never agreed to pay the fee for the directory. However, if the company does not pay, the scammers make collection calls and send collection notices, with late fees and other penalties. The scammer will indicate the company’s credit is at risk, and may even send demand letters and threaten litigation.

If companies stand firm in their refusal to pay. the scammer may offer discounts or even agree to cancel the listing. But beware, as the companies will get more bogus invoices — either from the same scammer or from others who have bought their contact information for a new scheme.

Don’t be a victim. Inspect invoices and train your staff in identifying fraudulent activity. If you have questions regarding education of staff education and diligence, please contact Braden Perry at Kennyhertz Perry, LLC. We assist clients in prevention, developing robust information fraud prevention programs, including administering internal compliance and risk assessments, which include the development and implementation of corporate policies and procedures required for detecting fraud, and information security best practices; information security policies; records retention and management policies.

About Braden Perry

Braden Perry is a litigation, regulatory and government investigations attorney with Kennyhertz Perry, LLC. Mr. Perry has the unique tripartite experience of a white collar criminal defense and government compliance, investigations, and litigation attorney at a national law firm; a senior enforcement attorney at a federal regulatory agency; and the Chief Compliance Officer/Chief Regulatory Attorney of a global financial institution. Mr. Perry has extensive experience advising clients in government inquiries and investigations, particularly in enforcement matters involving emerging or novel issues. He couples his technical knowledge and experience defending clients in front of federal agencies with a broad-based understanding of compliance from an institutional and regulatory perspective.

About Kennyhertz Perry, LLC

Kennyhertz Perry, LLC is a business and litigation law firm representing clients in highly regulated industries. The firm was founded by two veteran Kansas City attorneys, John Kennyhertz and Braden Perry. To learn more about the firm, visit kennyhertzperry.com.