There are many ongoing schemes under which misleading and fraudulent Yellow Pages "bills" get paid by thousands of advertisers each month. LSA has worked with regulatory agencies such as the FTC and State Attorney Generals to fight against fraudulent companies who issue fake bills and attempt to collect on them.
Bogus yellow pages billing takes a variety of forms, and if you are uncertain about a bill you received, here is how you can protect yourself:
Be skeptical when you receive offers from strangers. Before you buy directory advertising space, membership through a mail solicitation or pay an “invoice,” take the following steps:
- Check out the company and its publication. Call your local Yellow Pages publisher to see if it is affiliated with the soliciting company.
- Ask for a copy of a previous directory edition.
- Ask for the online directory’s web address and call advertisers in the directory to ask if their listing has been a good buy.
- Ask the publisher for written information about where the directory is distributed, how it is distributed, how often it is published, and distribution or circulation figures.
- Check with your local and state consumer protection agencies to determine if any complaints have been filed about the publisher. This isn't a guarantee, but it is a prudent step.
If you suspect that you've received a bogus bill for Yellow Pages advertising, please let us know by calling our toll-free Hotline 800.841.0639 or send us an e-mail at BogusBilling@theLSA.org. You can also do the following:
- Report your complaint to your state's attorney general.
- Notify the postal inspector for your area.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- Contact your local Better Business Bureau.
- Contact the Yellow Pages publishers with whom you regularly deal.
- Photocopy the solicitation and post it on a bulletin board.