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New scam targets local businesses in Central Virginia

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RICHMOND, Va. – Local businesses in Central Virginia have become the target of a new scam from a company that claims to be the Yellow Pages, according to the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker.

Several businesses have reported receiving fake invoices via fax demanding payment for Facebook and Twitter features. The victims said they never ordered the features or received them.

While the invoice appears to be from Yellow Pages, it is actually from a company calling itself American Yellow Group Inc.

The company asks the small business for a payment of $498.95, due immediately. The invoice asks the checks be sent to American Yellow Group Inc in Bulgaria.

The invoice also leaves the impression the account has been turned over to collections with the “US Credit Bureau Protection- GPR International Inc.”

“Unfortunately, this isn’t the only invoice scam out there. In order to protect your business, you must have the proper procedures in place for paying invoices,” said Tom Gallagher, President & CEO of BBB serving Central Virginia.

BBB offered several tips to protect you from a questionable invoice:

  • Educate your staff, particularly those responsible for paying invoices about the variety of scams involving phony invoices and solicitations.
  • Channel all invoices through one department.
  • Carefully read all invoices and solicitations which are sent to your company and verify with the person who gave written or verbal authorization.
  • Check your records to confirm claims of previous business dealings with a company or seller. Do not be alarmed by language indicating that an unfamiliar unpaid invoice will be forwarded to a collection agency. If your business did not order or place an order with a company, you are not
    responsible for paying the invoice.
  • If you become aware of the scheme only after payment has been made on the fraudulent invoice, immediately contact your Postal Inspector, local police department, and BBB.
  • Check with BBB. Call us at 804-648-0030 or check out BBB Scam Tracker (bbb.org/scamtracker), a source for the public to report and view scams, frauds, and warnings of malicious or suspicious activities in your area.