Business beware, bogus call

THE scammers are back.

They were common last year, but this year a number of small businesses are reporting that the phones are ringing again.

It goes like this.

A business receives a phone call suggesting they have agreed to place an advertisement in a magazine or some other publication.

In the confusion they insist that the business agreed to having the advertisement placed and if the business shows reluctance the caller keeps ringing and makes veiled threats about legal action if the so called invoice is not paid.

Small businesswoman Heather Brown who runs a small auto car detailing business and knows them well.

She has received numerous calls and said the callers become really threatening and rude if you refuse them.

Now she has learned to just say no to the callers.

On the Australian government's Scamwatch website they are listed as a directory entry or unauthorised advertising scam.

It is a scam that targets small businesses, trying to bill you for a listing or advertisement in a magazine, journal or business register/directory.

The scam might come as a proposal for a subscription disguised as an invoice for an entry in a bogus international fax, telex or trade directory. Sometimes they are doctored to look like those used by genuine directory publishers.

Alternatively, you might be led to believe that you are responding to an offer for a free entry - but in fact, the order is for entries requiring later payment.

Anyone who may be concerned should visit the Federal Government's website at www.scamwatch.gov.au.



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