Don’t Get Scammed

MSNBC.com ran an article last week that you should read.  It’s called Common Small-Business Scams and it describes a few of the current rip-offs that crooks are using to separate us from our hard-earned money. 

I have some personal experience with number four, the directory fraud scam.  The way it works is that the company calls to inform you that your first year’s listing in their business directory is about to expire and that it’s time to renew.  Of course, you don’t remember advertising in their directory because you didn’t.  At that point, they reluctantly agree to cancel your "listing" but there’s the matter of payment for the first year, which is almost over.  Whether you remember ordering the directory listing or not, you’ve had the advantage of the ad for an entire year so you’re expected to pay for it.  The caller(s) are quite persistent, even resorting to threats of legal action if you don’t pay.

I recently went through this process with them. They obviously got my name from an old business listing of some sort.  The trouble is that I haven’t had anything to do with advertising, directory or otherwise, for several years.  Had they called me when I was in sales/marketing, I might have fallen for the scam, particularly since I used to buy directory advertising.  But, even with my poor memory, I knew it was a scam because I just don’t work with ad companies anymore.  The calls stopped when I mentioned the word "fraud".  In fact, the caller hung up on me!

Check out the article.  You work too hard for your money to let someone steal it from you.  As they say, "when in doubt, check it out".  Some good sources of information on scams can be found at:

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