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Public Pages, Bogus Invoice

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Your company gets a call during the noon hour, when many employees are at lunch.

The caller wants to know why an invoice for an Internet directory listing hasn't been paid... and wants it paid now.

That call... and that phony invoice... might be originating from right here in Arkansas.

The Better Business Bureau started getting complaints about a scam recently.

They want you to know about it so that you...don't get hooked.

The web site for "www.publicpages.com" touts the business as an Internet directory service, encompassing all businesses in the United States, helping advertisers maximize customer exposure.

"This particular company...www.publicpages.com...seems to be head quartered in Bentonville," explains Michael Rohrer with the Arkansas BBB. "So the Arkansas Better Business Bureau is receiving complaints from across the country. So far we've had 52 complaints and very, very upset people calling."

Complaints like this one we found online: "This company sent me two bogus invoices. We have our own web site and use a marketing company for our advertising."

Rohrer says it seems "www.publicpages.com" sends out bills or invoices to companies hoping they aren't paying close attention and just paying bills without looking at them.

The BBB advises you educate all employees about this type of scam, keep a list of all verified vendors, contact the billing company or the BBB if an invoice seems fraudulent and assign one employee to handle all bill paying.

"If you have enough staff it is easy to have somebody who is dedicated to doing those directory solicitations," advises Rohrer. "In other words they're responsible for those type of calls that come in and managing and keeping track of all that."

Most of these invoices are in the $300.00 range and Rohrer says thankfully, so far, most of the people who have called to complain did not pay.

But who knows how many others did pay and still don't even know it.

Air date: September 4th, 2013

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