By Keri Algar
SYDNEY, NSW: An appliance servicing business has been almost conned out of $1,548 for a directory listing after an overseas company posed as the Sensis Yellow Pages directories.
Scott Warren, service manager at Metropolitan Appliance in South Australia told Current.com.au that they almost paid a Netherlands based company for a listing in what they believed to be the Australian Yellow Pages when the accounts person noticed peculiarities with the invoice.
“We were about to pay it and accounts come to me with the invoice with the weird wwws and contact details – we didn’t pay anything – called the ACCC and they agreed,” Warren wrote to Current.com.au.
Warren said they were suspicious of sending money to an overseas address. Additionally, on a closer inspection of the invoice Warren and his colleagues noticed the “upside down walking fingers”.
“[The] last phone call we had was [with] someone in the US – we advised them that we knew it was a scam. She said, 'no it's not' and we said, 'yes it is'. She then advised us that they would take it further. We said, 'good luck with that!'”
Warren confirmed that the overseas company was called Directories for Australia, Yellow Page Marketing BV.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken legal against the company, which it alleges has misled hundreds of small businesses since May 2010. This week the Federal Court in Melbourne ordered injunctions against the companies to prevent them from seeking payment from Australian businesses.
The ACCC today confirmed the overseas companies were targeting small Australian businesses, but could not say how many had been affected.
Was your business approached by Yellow Page Marketing BV or Yellow Publishing Limited? Email firstname.lastname@example.org