Phone Directory Scam Returns to Four Counties
Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning business owners of a well-known invoice scam that is making its rounds throughout the region once more.
Businesses are receiving solicitations via fax, demanding fees ranging between $499 and $1,999. The invoices are being sent from various names and locations. Businesses have reported receiving the solicitations in Butte, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties.
They closely resemble solicitations that circulated the area in Nov. 2014. However, rather than luring companies with phone directory advertisements, they are hoping to reel victims in with social media.
The solicitation identifies the product name as “Facebook and Twitter Features,” and includes a warning that reads: “LAST CHANCE TO PROTECT YOUR CREDIT SCORE IN GOOD STANDING!”
According to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), a business may not send an unsolicited advertisement via fax unless they have an established relationship with the recipient. The advertisement must also inform the recipient of their right to opt out of future solicitations, and must contain information about how to do so. No such information was found on the solicitations.
Tips for business owners:
- Do not respond. If you receive a fax or phone call from a company asking for payment, verify that you employed their services.
- Do not be fooled by fake logos and company names. Scammers will often use logos and names of legitimate businesses as an attempt to gain your trust and reel you in.
- Do not rely on caller I.D. Scammers have the ability to spoof a legitimate phone number, and it may look like you are receiving a call from a trusted organization or business.
- Train your staff. Keep your employees updated on potential scams, and encourage them to flag suspect invoices for review.
- Report scams to the BBB Scam Tracker. Contact your local Better Business Bureau and report scams at www.bbb.org/scamtracker.