Winning the Fight Against Fraud: Court Ruling Condemns a Fraudulent Company

Winning the Fight Against Fraud: Court Ruling Condemns a Fraudulent Company

As the Director of legal affairs at Yellow Pages Group, I couldn’t be more pleased by the Competition Bureau’s recent announcement concerning the Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s ruling against Yellow Page Marketing B.V., acting as Yellow-Page-Ontario; Yellow-Page-Quebec, Yellow-Page Nova Scotia; etc., a company that has been fraudulently passing itself off as YPG, for its deceptive marketing practices. The timing couldn’t have been better, since it was announced in early March – which is also known as Fraud Awareness Month.

We are pleased by the Court’s decision that Yellow Page Marketing B.V. reimburse victims and pay punitive damages.  Any “contract” signed Yellow Page Marketing B.V. company is considered to be null and void.

Despite this definite “win” in the fight against fraud, we constantly remind our advertisers to beware of fraudulent solicitations and to be very cautious before signing any document. As we have done in the past, this year we’re issuing various communication materials to share our fraud prevention tips and to circulate a fact sheet that summarizes how to best recognize a scam. Specifically, we’ll promote our fraud prevention advice and best practices through an email directed to our advertisers, a press release, a fact sheet directly on our Yellow PagesTM 360° Solution site, social media and more.

Some of our key recommendations to help protect Canadian small and medium-sized businesses against fraud are to:

  • Beware of similar names: Yellow Pages Group is not affiliated in any way with “Yellow-Page-Canada”, or any other company that has a name similar to ours.
  • Remember that YPG’s sales force never conducts business by sending unsolicited faxes.
  • Never sign a document without properly reading it. Sometimes, a seemingly innocent signature to confirm the coordinates of your company can actually be an attempt to bind you with a contract by “selling you services” – you have to carefully read everything, including the fine print.
  • Learn how to properly recognize our logo in order to better identify scams that fraudulently use a similar version of our logo or trademark.

It is our hope that the recent Court ruling against Yellow Page Marketing B.V. will deter other fraudulent companies or individuals from soliciting Canadian businesses. On our end, we’ll continue collaborating with the appropriate authorities to help eradicate fraud in any way we can. On your end, remain vigil and keep in mind that not everyone is as honest as you might be.

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Comments

  1. Valerie Alldfred

    Valerie Alldfred

    My husband thought he was signing a form sent by Yellow Pages Directory, which we are listed in, not at all realizing that this form was from Yellow-Page-Canada.com, What a shock it was to receive an invoice for $1598.00 for their service , which we had never requested. They keep refering to us a a company, for one thing which we aren’t, my husband is a family physician in solo practice. We are too busy to accept any new patients, let alone have any need to advertise through this Yellow-Page-Canada.com.so it’s just ridiculous. He phoned them immediately apon receiving this invoice, and was told to send them an explanation letter in writing which he immedicately did. , explaining that he thought it was a from from our Yellow Page Directory. ( the form he signed was very deceptive in looking like it was from the legitimate Yellow Page Directory) with totally illegible printing at the bottom which he didnt notice was suspicious. Being a busy doctor, I think when the secretary put this on his desk for signing in a pile of our regular correspondence to be attended to he certainly didnt realize the discrepancy. We have now been sent our 4th threatening notice meant to intimidate and force him to pay this amount. He is told that he is locked into a 2 year contract and must pay this fee annually, at which time if he doesnt wish to renew in the 3rd year, he may give them 3 month written notice, or will automatically owe them another annual fee for $1598.00. There is a contact address on this correspondence for an Al Barash, in Dubai , UAE? I have sent a registered letter to this address along with their Toronto Bay St address, advising them that we have no intention of paying them a pennny, and directing them to remove any of my husband’s personal information from their system. They are theatening our credit rating and also telling us the late fees are becoming astronomical and that we will also be liable for their legal fees. Do you have any advice on this matter? We have never dealt with such outright fraud before! Thank you for your help in this matter.

    Valerie Alldred on behalf of

    Dr. John B. Alldred
    328 Worthingon St. West
    North Bay, Ont.
    P1B 3B6

    ps. incl are tel nbrs, in case you wish to call

    Office – public – 705-472-3660, priv. line 705-472-4144, home nbr 705-474-0085

    • Zelia Lefebvre

      Zelia Lefebvre

      Hi Valerie
      We recommend that you contact the Competition Bureau of Canada: http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca / 1-800-348-5538 or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: http://www.antifraudcentre.ca / hotline toll-free at 1-888-495-8501, for assistance.

      You can also consult our fraud prevention fact sheet http://bit.ly/HVMO7q This document is available on the advertisers’ section of our site, and helps recognize the common signs on fraudulent invoices. We advise businesses to be cautious and to refer to this document if they receive a suspicious invoice or call.

  2. Evan

    Evan

    Does this mean this company is out of business. I know someone who was taken in by them and signed the form hastily and returned it, found out too late that it was a fraudulent company. How likely is legal action if he doesn’t pay the invoice?

  3. ken dano

    ken dano

    yes, i receive the same letter and email from this yellow pages canada.com and I thought it was yellow pages. Sure enough, we signed up on the spot on their website. And receive a bill of $980 invoice a month later.
    THanks for the blog here and advise. We will try report to the sites noted above. However, we don’t expect we can get the initial payment back

  4. Wanda Herman

    Wanda Herman

    I just received the same bill and nasty letter from them. I handed it over to my lawyer who told me it was a scam. I even emailed them the day I got the bill for $1575.00 telling them that the invoice was rediculous and that I did not order such advertising. They sent me back a form that I had signed (to correct my physical address) calling it a contract and that I was obligated to pay them. I have since gotten another letter telling my that my payment is late and I will be charged late fees. They are relentless – should I turn this over to the fraud squad???

    • Zelia Lefebvre

      Zelia Lefebvre

      Hi Wanda,
      We recommend that you contact the Competition Bureau of Canada: http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca / 1-800-348-5538 for assistance.

      You can also consult our fraud prevention fact sheet right here: http://bit.ly/HVMO7q This document is available on the advertisers’ section of our site, and helps recognize the common signs on fraudulent invoices. We advise businesses to be cautious and to refer to this document if they receive a suspicious invoice or call.

      Hope this help.

  5. Daniel Calero

    Daniel Calero

    This Fraud is happening to us also,same invoice for $1548.00
    Thinking was yellow pages.
    We will not pay this invoice.
    Thank you. for the support

  6. Nixen

    Nixen

    I am an admistrator for a large company in Brithish Columbia
    I recieved another invoice from this company this morning.
    This one was a statement with interest carges for an Ad we do not even run.
    These Menaces are stillin full force, thankfully one of our accounting team saw this on the News.

    Thank you for the update.

  7. Michael Ritchie

    Michael Ritchie

    We got hit with this three years ago, an employee filled it out and signed without reading the small print. I did nothing, did not seek legal advice, just threw out the threatening letters. Told them to f*&&%$& themselves when they started phoning, then just hung up and blocked their number. They will not pursue, believe me. I recently received another unsolicited document by fax from them to “confirm my address”. I sent it back unsigned, but suggested to them what they should do to themselves (your imagination comes in here). My recommendation to everyone is to do the same, multiple times, unsigned. It is a 1-888 number, so it will cost you no money, just some time and think of the satisfaction. They will need to deal with all of the scam faxes that they get back. It is about time that we had the power to give them a headache.

  8. Dan Turkheim

    Dan Turkheim

    Save your time contacting the Competition Bureau, even if you can get through to them you’ll get the standard bureacratic line of B.S. which is nothing, merely says that they can’t advise you of anything, our government hard at work!!!!!

  9. Valerie Alldred

    Valerie Alldred

    June 3

    A New Brunswick business has alerted us to a new scam that they received. It is called Yellow-Page-Canada.com which is not to be confused with the real Yellowpages. This company uses a sound alike name and look alike logo to mislead people into thinking that they are dealing with the legitimate Yellowpages. This company is sending a solicitation that looks very much like an invoice. If you read it carefully the company is offering to set up and administer a facebook page for you at a cost of $129.00 per month, payable one year in advance. The company provides a Dubai, UAE address and email. When receiving any type of invoice from a company read it over carefully, don’t assume that it is from a legitimate company. If you have any questions then contact the company directly. If you have received this offer then please report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

  10. Valerie Alldred

    Valerie Alldred

    I discovered the above entry dated June 3, on a BBB warning site about various scams. I am beginning to be fed up with wasting anymore time on the ridiculous fraud scam. I personally will not dignify the threats of this company with any further contact with them. Their threats are completely hollow as the first threat to take legal action regarding this matter if payment was not received in 10 days is dated Mar 29,2012. The latest threatened letter is dated Sept. 17, 2012. This current letter also threatens legal action if payment not received in 10 days. They also have the colossal nerve to threaten that levies may be placed against our property or other assets. This constant harrassment must illegal. I am going to be in further contact with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and hope they can put an end to this charade as quickly as possible. I implore all who have been scammed in the manner to do the same. Thank you.

  11. Roy Pepin

    Roy Pepin

    Is this all true? Open Business Directory Ltd. has no power to go after you for their charges? I have also been hit by their scam thinking they were the REAL Yellow Pages.

    Despite their threats, they can’t send a collection agency after you?

    Roy

    • Réal Coderre

      Réal Coderre

      Why do you says that they cannot go on collection after us?. “What is the reason for that?
      We are a transportaiton company which has been hit hard also by them..

      opinions are welcome.

  12. Kim St James

    Kim St James

    Thank you for acknowledging this fraudulent practice and providing a place to share our stories. I work for a Canadian transportation company that has been on Yellow-Page-Canada’s call list for a number of years. They’ve been calling our locations one-by-one and having innocent employees ‘confirm’ address changes then following up with an invoice for $1548. We’ve also sent all the registered mail and tried contacting them to request they stop harassing us but they have yet to reply. However, the invoices soon turned into harassing letter then heightened to threatening mail. It’s good to know we’re not alone in ignoring their threats.

  13. Valerie Alldred

    Valerie Alldred

    Roy, as far as I can tell the only “collection dept.” that will be after you is right in their own phony company. Their “contract” isnt worth the paper it is written on. They use all the scare tactics they can think of because they know they wouldn’t stand a chance in court. These are criminals and the authorities should get moving on shutting them down. Until this happens they will continue to rob victims who cave to their threats. They are collecting as much as possible and its great for them as they realize how dam slow our legal system move to put them out of action. How pathetic.

  14. Jane

    Jane

    Just got a fax today as well, so they’re clearly still “in business”. The fax says they “now offer to create your company’s page on facebook.com WITHOUT ADDITIONAL CHARGES”, but at the bottom however it says it’s $129/month! That’s so ridiculous! Luckily I didn’t sign.

  15. Alfie

    Alfie

    I received the same fax solicitation and the missing “s” caught my eye. I went to the net and found this website. My action? I printed this webpage out and faxed it back to them at their cost. I recommend everyone do the same.

  16. ARNOLD

    ARNOLD

    JUST DONT PAY :

    NOTICE HOW THEIR HEAD OFFICE KEEPS SHIFTING FROM SWITZERLAND , DUBAI
    NOW EVEN RUSSIA…. THEIR ON THE RUN!!!!!

    THEIR LAST INVOICE ACUTUALLY REDUCED THE AMOUNT OWING TO ONLY $774.00 “CANCELLATION FEE” ……….AND WE’LL DROP THE MATTER

    I’M NOT GOING TO PAY .

    LOOK…… THEY’RE FRAUDSTERS DONT BE INTIMIDATED BY THEIR THREATS

    PRINT OUT THE FOLLOWING LINK LOAD IT IN YOUR FAX MACHINE AND SEND IT TO THEM 100 TIMES A DAY
    FOR A MONTH AT THEIR EXPENSE…1 888 907 6942

    http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/03439.html

    THE HUNTER BECOMES THE HUNTED!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Jonathan

    Jonathan

    I just spoke with the “Competition Bureau of Canada”, they are aware of this fraud and encourages me to ignore any e-mail/fax/phones of this company. They confirmed me : “Do no pay, do not reply, don’t do anything about this.”
    Please take 1 minutes and fill a plaint at Competition Bureau of Canada at 1 800 348-5358

    Replying to those people will encourages them to send you back unpaid statement reminders.

    Je vient de parler avec le “Bureau de la compétition du Canada” il me disent que cette entreprise as déjà été condamné en Mars 2012. Il me conseil d’ignorer les factures, ne pas répondre aucun fax aucun courriel aucun téléphone. Svp encouragez le recours en envoyant une plainte au Bureau de la compétition du Canada au 1 800 348-5358.

    Donc ceux qui ont signé par mégarde et ne cessent de recevoir des états de compte impayés, ignorez les.

  18. Harmony

    Harmony

    We were also a vistim of this false-advertising company! They had sent us multiple faxes asking us to update our information & since we had formerly been Yellow Page customers & were in the process of moving locations, we returned the fax with our updated information for what we thought was for Yellow Pages records for future contact. The fax read “Yellow-Page-Canada.com” with what appeared to be the Yellow Pages logo & was hard to read after being stretched and slightly smudged from the fax, so the small print was very hard to read. A month later we recieved a bill for $1548.00 for our two year contract we signed. After a couple months of inquiries and trying to contact what appeared to be a European based company with no responce, we recieved a fax stating they had sent the outstanding balance to a collections agency under the name “Factoring International AG” and they were offering us a 10% discount to pay the amount of $1393.20. Infuriating our company and owners, we contacted the REAL Yellow Pages to file a complaint to discover we havent been the only victims in this matter! We’ve since contacted the Competition Bureau of Canada to file a complaint & they’ve advised us to ignore their threats as well. We dont know what else we can really do, but I hope this awful company gets stopped from scamming others imediately! Thanks for the advice on here!

  19. Louise

    Louise

    RECEIVED THIS FRAUD FAX 2 YEARS AGO NOW. WE STAMPED IT AND SENT IT BACK BELIEVING IT TO BE FROM THE REAL YELLOW PAGES AS IT HAD THE WALKING FINGERS. WHEN WE RECEIVED THE BILL WE TOLD THEM TO CANCEL. FOR SEVERAL MONTHS WE RECEIVED THREATENING NOTES THEN THEY STOPPED. ON THE DATE OF WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE RENEWAL THE INVOICES STARTED AGAIN. THEY ARE MOVING ALL OVER THE WORLD AND SENDING ENVELOPES WITH GERMAN RETURN ADDRESS WITH FRENCH WRITTING. THIS TIME THEY EVEN SENT A REQUEST TO FILL OUT WITH OUR BANKING INFO IN ORDER TO “FACILITATE PAYMENT”. THE COMPANY IS NOW WORKING OUT OF SWITZERLAND WITH A BANK IN NICOSIA. COMPLAINT WAS FILED 2 YEARS AGO WITH COMPETITION BUREAU. WHO IS STOPPING THESE PEOPLE?????????????????????

  20. BRIAN

    BRIAN

    One of my part time staff ,while I was away on holidays, Jan. 2011 thought it was our annual renewal, signed it and sent it back.
    When I found out, I phoned the company (within 10 days) and told them of the mistake and they said they would look after cancelling the order. ya right…..
    The billing and threats started from Toronto then went to Moscow, then Dubai, then Switzerland, then Cyprus, then France and now today I get one from Ireland. They want a staff person to mail in a cheque thinking it is for the real Yellow Pages.
    I have contacted the better business people and my lawyer. His instructions were to not converse with them, no matter what.
    Keep a file and let it sit in a drawer.

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