Small Businesses at Risk of Yellow Pages Invoice Fraud

Published: May 18, 2024
by Samantha Lile
In Small Business News


In today’s environment, small business owners must remain vigilantly aware of scams. One persistent fraud is the Yellow Pages invoice scam, which tricks businesses into paying for non-existent advertising spaces that fraudulently mimic the official Yellow Pages.

A recent incident involved a doctor’s office in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, which received a fraudulent invoice from “Yellow Directory Pages,” not to be confused with the authentic Yellow Pages. 

WGAL-TV reports the fake bill demanded $498.89 for a one-year listing and $789.71 for two years, misleadingly presented as a bargain.

The invoice scam typically starts with a phone call from someone claiming to update the business’s Yellow Pages listing. The contact is followed by the delivery of a fraudulent invoice – designed to look genuine – that pressures businesses into making unwarranted payments.

Small business owners can protect themselves from the Yellow Pages invoice scam with awareness. Other tips to avoid the scam include:

  • Request Proof: Before committing to any directory listing, ask for a copy of the previous directory edition to confirm the legitimacy of the organization.
  • Inquire About Distribution Details: Gain clarity on the distribution method, frequency of publication, and lifespan of the directory. Verify the scope of distribution and whether it genuinely reaches all local telephone customers.
  • Evaluate Listing Necessity: With the shift towards digital information access, evaluate the real need for a traditional Yellow Pages listing.
  • Educate Employees: Ensure all staff members are informed of the scam, and they know how to respond to unsolicited requests for business details or payments.
  • Report Fraudulent Activities: If you encounter any suspicious requests, report them immediately to the authorities to help prevent further occurrences of such scams.

Adopting these measures will help small business owners mitigate risks associated with deceptive practices. It also helps them maintain the integrity of their business operations in both digital and traditional advertising domains.

Image: Envato

Samantha Lile
Samantha Lile is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 3 years. She is also a freelance writer and journalist who contributes to a variety of web publications from her home office in the heart of the Ozarks.

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