Thomasville business gets fake Yellow Pages invoices from scammers

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THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- Norm Jones remembers getting an invoice for $2,376 in January 2012 for a service he says his business never ordered.

"No one who is authorized to make those kinds of agreements had spoken with them," Jones said.

Jones handles accounting and sales at Gordon's Furniture Discount Center in Thomasville.

The invoice claimed to be from a business directory whose name included the words "Yellow Page" in it.

The store was being charged for online ads they never bought.

"It is very easy to just write a check say this must be a legitimate bill that we owe," said store owner David Gordon.

Gordon says the bill wasn't legit but after weeks of non-stop phone calls, he paid the company $300 to go away.

But the invoices didn't stop.

"We began to see other solicitations from other similar companies," Jones said.

For two years, the furniture store got about a dozen invoices from companies with some version of the name "Yellow Pages" and with the familiar logo of two walking fingers.

Jones says the invoices stopped for a while after the company ignored them.

That was until last week when the store got a fax from a company in Bulgaria, with the "Yellow Pages" name and logo.

The invoice stated that the business owed close to $500.

"It says collection warning on it," Jones said. "It was bogus as well."

Kevin Hinterberger with the Better Business Bureau says none of these businesses are the real Yellow Pages and are all scams.

"Scammers use that because people recognize that as a logo that's been around forever," said Hinterberger, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central North Carolina.

Hinterberger says a business should never pay for services they didn't authorize.

"Don't pay it right away just because you've received a bill from somebody you think might be a legitimate source."

Hinterberber says businesses should also closely examine the quality of an invoice. He says if it doesn’t look right, it’s probably not legit.

"The print quality is poor, it's a copy of an invoice, it's not a well-done invoice, there's overseas addresses," Hinterberger said.

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