Beware of Online Directory Scams

Over the past few weeks I have had calls from people asking for advice about a particular online directory scam. Basically what they are doing is sending out a document, often by fax or email, explaining that they are an online directory and asking you to 'update' your details. They specifically have one piece of information that is incorrect which prompts you to amend the information and send it back. The document requires a signature, and hiding in the fine print at the bottom states you will be billed for the listing. The price varies, but is usually around 900 Euro per year. When you don't pay, they start to add interest charges and continue to bombard you with correspondence demanding it to be settled.

This is obviously an immoral and border-line illegal way of making sales. And it's not the first time I've seen this type of thing. The reason that I manage my clients domain names for them is that there are a few domain companies out there that send 'renewal' notices to people. However, you didn't register your domain through them, and this 'renewal' is actually a 'transfer' which hands the domain registration over to them, often costing you more and making it difficult for your web developer to manage.

If you are an existing Tfunk Digital customer you can be sure that you only deal with us for Hosting, Email, Domain and DNS. There are some exceptions with email. If you have any bills about anything to do with your website or email, please check with us first. We are more than happy to help.

So what do you do if you've already signed into the Online Directory scam?

I found this information on the Zealand Ministry of Consumer Affairs website:

"Inform the company in writing or by email that the advertisement they are charging you for was not authorised and that you will not be paying for it. Keep records of contacts and requests regarding advertising, including emails and phone calls. Seek legal advice if your company is threatened with legal action. Ensure that your financial system is robust enough to uncover incorrect or fraudulent transactions."