Has Your Office Encountered The Online Yellow Pages Scam?

Patten seriously wants the purported “Online Yellow Pages” to stop calling his office. They call once per day, looking for information on the company, but Patten is suspicious. Rightly so, as it turns out—this is a scam, and companies who respond receive a hefty invoice for “advertising” that they never authorized.

Here’s how the call went down:

Caller: May I speak to the person who is authorized?
Me: Excuse me?
Caller: May I speak to an authorized person?
Me: Authorized for what?
Caller: I am calling from Online Yellow Pages to update your listing.

I seriously get a call like that once a day, always using synonyms that kind of, but don’t really mean anything. The “person in charge” is not the same as the “person who is authorized”.

Anywho, whenever I feel lonely, I let him get into his pitch…sometimes he’s talking over a recording, trying to obscure what the recording is saying, but he is always asking about structural information in the company, e-mail addresses, etc. I’m not a stupid person, I’m not going to give them real information…which means when they try to scam Daff E. Duck, our CEO (as I told him)…they will be calling MovieFone.

In a follow-up e-mail, Patten had a few other notes on the scam:

- All of the names they had were wrong. They were people who work in the higher branches of the company or some different locations…but none of the actual names and positions were correct. I’m imagining they google “*company name* ceo” and then just write down whatever comes.

- They didn’t have Daff E. Duck as the CEO, which makes me think they aren’t actually updating anything when they ask. Today, I gave them the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant org chart, knowing full well that no one is ever going to call and ask for C. Montgomery Burns.

- After asking the four to five names that he asks, along with their phone numbers (all fake), their e-mail addresses (all fake) and our address (742 Evergreen Terrace), the recording clicks on…it’s hard to understand anyway because it’s spoken by a person with a pretty thick accent, but then the actual live person I’m talking to starts talking over it…and at the end…there’s a tone. The live person asked me, “Do you understand?” and I said, “No. Absolutely not.” I assumed the tone was some sort of recorder and this person was trying to trick me into consenting to something.

If this is the same scam that’s been reported in various places online, someone at 742 Evergreen Terrace will soon receive a bill for hundreds of dollars for their “Yellow Pages” listing—which is nothing more than the company’s name and contact info on a Web page. Companies know the “Yellow Pages” name and want to advertise in them, so it’s a pretty slick scam…when it works.

Though in the case of Patten’s company, it sounds like they’re a bit disorganized.

(Photo: HowardLake)