As the Director of legal affairs at Yellow Pages Group, I couldn’t be more pleased by the Competition Bureau’s recent announcement concerning the Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s ruling against Yellow Page Marketing B.V., acting as Yellow-Page-Ontario; Yellow-Page-Quebec, Yellow-Page Nova Scotia; etc., a company that has been fraudulently passing itself off as YPG, for its deceptive marketing practices. The timing couldn’t have been better, since it was announced in early March – which is also known as Fraud Awareness Month.
We are pleased by the Court’s decision that Yellow Page Marketing B.V. reimburse victims and pay punitive damages. Any “contract” signed Yellow Page Marketing B.V. company is considered to be null and void.
Despite this definite “win” in the fight against fraud, we constantly remind our advertisers to beware of fraudulent solicitations and to be very cautious before signing any document. As we have done in the past, this year we’re issuing various communication materials to share our fraud prevention tips and to circulate a fact sheet that summarizes how to best recognize a scam. Specifically, we’ll promote our fraud prevention advice and best practices through an email directed to our advertisers, a press release, a fact sheet directly on our Yellow PagesTM 360° Solution site, social media and more.
Some of our key recommendations to help protect Canadian small and medium-sized businesses against fraud are to:
- Beware of similar names: Yellow Pages Group is not affiliated in any way with “Yellow-Page-Canada”, or any other company that has a name similar to ours.
- Remember that YPG’s sales force never conducts business by sending unsolicited faxes.
- Never sign a document without properly reading it. Sometimes, a seemingly innocent signature to confirm the coordinates of your company can actually be an attempt to bind you with a contract by “selling you services” – you have to carefully read everything, including the fine print.
- Learn how to properly recognize our logo in order to better identify scams that fraudulently use a similar version of our logo or trademark.
It is our hope that the recent Court ruling against Yellow Page Marketing B.V. will deter other fraudulent companies or individuals from soliciting Canadian businesses. On our end, we’ll continue collaborating with the appropriate authorities to help eradicate fraud in any way we can. On your end, remain vigil and keep in mind that not everyone is as honest as you might be.