$2.7 million Yellow Pages Scam

Yellow Page Marketing BV (YPM) and Yellow Publishing Limited (YPL) sent faxes and invoices containing the words 'Yellow Page' and logos of 'Walking Fingers' to Australian businesses to obtain subscriptions for their online business directory. Many of these Australian businesses made payment believing that YPM and YPL were affiliated with the longstanding Yellow Pages phone directory company, Sensis Pty Ltd.

These European companies were successful: 30 to 50 cheques were paid per week at one stage and YPM and YPL grossed $178,000 from the entire scam. Justice Gordon of the Federal Court in held that the communications asking for payment appeared professional and easily confused recipients into believing they were legitimate.

Businesses should always be cautious when asked to make payments, even if it appears to be from an official or a well known company. It is important to keep these factors in mind:

  • Be highly suspicious when communications use words to the effect of Please direct all further correspondence only and exclusively to
  • You should search the contact details given and see if they correlate to a reputable website.
  • Be cautious when a virtual address is given without a physical address

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