ACCC slams overseas companies for ripping off Australian businesses in scam

By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: Hundreds of Australian businesses have been charged up to $3096 for a listing in what they were led to think were the Sensis Yellow Pages directories, but were not.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been given the go ahead by Justice Gordon in the Federal Court to serve interim injunctions against two foreign companies, Yellow Page Marketing BV and Yellow Publishing Limited.

The court orders will ban the companies from seeking further payments from Australian small businesses. The names the companies trade under include ‘Directories for Australia’ and others with the term ‘Yellow Page’.

According to the ACCC, businesses were sent unsolicited facsimiles and follow-up invoices to obtain a subscription and payment for their online business directories. The invoices used prominent banner headings including the words 'Yellow Page' and a reversed walking fingers logo.

The ACCC said a Melbourne law firm has acted for one of the companies. The companies were based in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

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