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Business directory fraud

Some scammers offer to list your company to the directory service for free. Yet, later, you get bills as unpaid dues from their representatives who claim they seek payment for the marketing service they offered to your business on the internet, through the post, fax or emails. 

How Does It Happen?

The tricksters send a form by post, mail, or fax asking the client to fill in details to get a free listing in a business directory, online advert, or catalogue. 

Then, the firm is asked to send the filled form to the service provider to place the order, but in small prints, they write in the terms and conditions that you are committing to pay for the directory service. 

Then, the company gets a fake invoice from a bogus company for the service. Also, you may get threatening messages or calls from the firm, who may pose as representatives from debt collection. 

How To Protect Yourself?

  • Train the staff to handle all emails and communication carefully. Read all the terms and conditions even when the service is free.

  • All the letters related to adverts, invoices, and calls should be handled carefully by the staff, who should know how to handle miscommunication.

  • If you get any free advertisement offer, research to see if the directory is legitimate and if the company offers the listing with a registered trade establishment.

  • Check all the arrangements/terms required to register in the directories. Do not assume the bills are for the listing. Ask questions before paying for the invoice related to it.

  • If you suspect any such fraud, report it to the investigation agencies. 

How To Spot It?

  • If you receive a call to verify the company's details for directory service. 

  • If you get an application that needs to be completed and returned to the sender, asking whether you want your company to be listed or promoted for free.

  • If the company gets an invoice that demands you to pay bills for the listing, your firm's representatives do not remember signing up.

Date Published: Sep 13, 2023

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Cybercrimes can be of two types. First, it can be cyber dependent, where the fraudsters use online devices to convince the victim to accept their offers.

Advance fee fraud

If you are trying to get a loan for a house or a car, they ask to meet the provider to get the financing arrangement and pay the finder's fee in advance.

Corporate fraud

Corporate frauds can be complicated, committed either by the firm or an individual. Nevertheless, it mostly involves cheating where the employee or the firm.

Individual fraud

There are many types of individual frauds related to advance fees, investments, insurance brokers, bogus tradespeople, Ponzi schemes, pension liberation.

Online fraud

Hence the number of cases of online fraud is increasing each year, and most such cases include – account takeover, direct frauds, or scams related domain names.

Identity fraud and identity theft

The criminal uses the stolen identity of another person living or deceased to conduct unlawful activities like obtaining goods or services in another's name.

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