Yellow Pages, Inc. Informative - Kentucky AG Settles With Yellow Pages Scam

Review by D. on 2007-06-15
KENTUCKY -- Kentucky AG Settles with Yellow Pages and Collection Agency in Check Scam

An online directory provider and its collection agency got into some hot water in Kentucky in what the state's attorney general is calling a check marketing scam. The companies are reimbursing more than 800 businesses in the state.

Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo announced last week the mailing of restitution checks totaling $70,000 to over 800 Kentucky consumers and small business owners in settlement of a civil lawsuit involving illegal check solicitations by five California companies and individuals.

The lawsuit alleged that the defendants mailed checks from “Yellow Pages, Inc.” to small businesses in Kentucky, usually for $3.47, and that when the check was cashed, the defendants claimed the consumer became obligated to pay $177 for Internet directory services. When a consumer did not pay the bill, it was turned over to a collection agency, Continental Recovery and Filing Solutions.

“Scams like this are targeted by my office”, said Attorney General Greg Stumbo. “Small business owners were harassed and defrauded by these bad actors. I am pleased to provide this recovery to affected citizens.” The Defendants are: Yellow Pages, Inc., a Nevada Corporation operating from Anaheim, CA and Electronic Directories Company LLC of Anaheim, and their President, John Wurth; and Continental Recovery and Filing Solutions, of Simi Valley CA and Marwan Kashou, its President.

Under Kentucky’s statute, KRS 372.160, checks being mailed as a solicitation must contain certain mandatory disclosures. The lawsuit charged that the defendants failed to abide by the statute and also violated the Consumer Protection Act.

“Kentucky is a pioneer in providing this type of consumer protection,” Attorney General Stumbo observed. “We have now become a model for the nation in stamping out this abusive practice. I urge anyone who is a victim of fraudulent, unfair or deceptive business practices to contact my office."
Comments:3 Replies - Latest reply on 2007-06-26
Posted by Nohandle on 2007-06-15:
Did these places of business not question when they received a check in the mail why they got it? If they had read the fine print, invisible to the naked eye, they would have realized what they were obligating themselves for. We get the yellow page bills, along with the cute little walking fingers across the top, about every three months at the office. It's one of the oldest scams around. Sometimes a check is sent, sometimes not. Thanks for the informative DB. You might be surprised at those who still fall for this one...and good for the state of Kentucky for growing weary of it.
Posted by D. on 2007-06-15:
I wasn't aware of this one, however, if a check comes to me I don't cash it without reading the fine print. I get them from other companies in the regular mail and if you cash it, then you are accepting subscriptions or memberships etc...I got a check from StateFarm for about $30...I never got one before and I kept reading to see if is said anything about cashing it and your policy will change or something...but it was on the level. My parents said they got on last year from them. StateFarm had a good year and they refund some of that money to their customers.
Posted by lepearso on 2007-06-26:
I received one of these checks right after I opened my new business. I didn't cash it because I knew what would happen!!!

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