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New York - Telephone Scam Targets Small Business

Published on: July 12, 2009 12:15 PM
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New York - One local man fielded two calls asking to update his business’s online yellow pages listing, but it sounded suspicious.

Now the Better Business Bureau, Frontier, and the attorney general’s officer are looking into scam calls.

Michael Bloch’s home business places lawyers in jobs. Last week he received a call that sounded fishy, the second time he received the same call this week, he recorded it.

“I was just curious, so I played along with them to see what it was they were doing,” he explained. “As the call went on, I knew pretty quickly that it was a scam, because as soon as they start recording something, you know they’re recording it for a reason.”

Bloch became even more suspicious as a live person talked over a recording.
“It was pretty clear this lady was purposefully talking over what the automated message was saying, so you couldn’t hear it [the original recorded message],” Bloch said.

Part of the scam said: “Do you understand this is the last question, Mr. Bloch; we need to confirm you understand this is your free basic listing with the online yellow pages. After the tone I need a clear ‘Yes.’ Thank you.”

Bloch said, “What you’re saying yes to, I assume, is some kind of authorization for a monthly payment.” 

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The Better Business Bureau suspects the same thing. Bloch’s call came from Carson City, Nevada. Similar businesses have “D” or “F” ratings with the BBB.
“The bottom line is, they’re trying to get you to agree, to: ‘Yes I’ll agree to a $30-some charge a month,’“explained Pat Coakley of the BBB. ”None of the legitimate ones would do it that way.”

The BBB indicated businesses should be on the alert for similar calls, and thanks to Bloch, they’ll know what to expect.
“I was very pleased to hear that; we’ve got a business owner that’s taking care of business,” Coakley said.

Bloch has yet to receive a bill, and Frontier was quick to apply a “third party billing block” on his phone so that he won’t be billed. That’s an option for every customer.

 



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Read Comments (10)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 12, 2009 at 01:37 PM Shloimie B Says:

At Natan Borlam's we get these at least twice a day. There are many ruses they use but the goal is the same, to get you to agree to the most basic, mild statement on a recorded line. They are really obscuring that they are really recording a different statement that makes it sound like you are agreeing to a monthly charge.
The cure in our case is to either say no and hang up or ask so many questions that they hang up!

2

 Jul 12, 2009 at 04:33 PM b Says:

I got two cals last week from a 216 area code. they wanted to update my business info for GPS system. I told them tpo fax me the form. they hung up...

3

 Jul 12, 2009 at 09:02 PM Anonymous Says:

i also got those calls from "infousa". they said they are updating their listings. i answered yes to their questions. whats the solution now (if they actually send a bill for some scam service)??? whom do you report them to?

4

 Jul 12, 2009 at 09:59 PM Anonymous Says:

I also got a call last week from someone caliming to be from Verizon and he just wanted to record an authorization to confirm my existing account. I told him to fax it- of course he didn't. The caller was tentative and there was a lot of background noise as well.

5

 Jul 13, 2009 at 07:44 AM duddy Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

i also got those calls from "infousa". they said they are updating their listings. i answered yes to their questions. whats the solution now (if they actually send a bill for some scam service)??? whom do you report them to?

Infousa is legitimate service.

6

 Jul 13, 2009 at 08:49 AM confused Says:

how can this scam company charge anyone anything if they dont have your credit card # on file? or are people falling for these idiots and giving up their financial information to a stranger over the phone?

7

 Aug 05, 2009 at 01:04 PM Ron Morris Says:

Reply to #6  
confused Says:

how can this scam company charge anyone anything if they dont have your credit card # on file? or are people falling for these idiots and giving up their financial information to a stranger over the phone?

They bill you through your phone company. You can block this, but you have to know the service is available, and LOUDLY INSIST that your phone company provide it. HMMM.... Exactly what ISN'T a scam in 21st Century America?

8

 Aug 05, 2009 at 01:02 PM Ron Morris Says:

Reply to #5  
duddy Says:

Infousa is legitimate service.

Since when is a firm that calls other firms and individuals up to five times a day "a legitimate operation?" Would YOU willingly give YOUR phone number to these creeps?? They drive me crazy, and saying "NO" does not stop them.

9

 Dec 04, 2009 at 10:21 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
duddy Says:

Infousa is legitimate service.

So can we assume you must work for this scam or own a similiar one? It is a scam folks.

10

 Feb 02, 2010 at 06:59 PM Jim Says:

Anyone who doesn't want telemarketing calls should be on the Do Not Call Registry, in my opinion. Go to www,DoNotCall.gov and fill in the request. I haven't had a marketing call in three years. Also, can you identify my business from my email address? Absolutely not. Keep a neutral email address for everyday emailing and your business professional email address only for those you know, and trust.

11

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