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Friday, February 11, 2005

Scam of the Week 

One of our clients, Directors & Boards, is on the receiving end of a damaging subscription scam. D&B is a paid ($325 per year) journal which serves board members in public companies. Some smart thief decided to send out 'past due invoices' to a variety of companies, listing their board members by last name, and claiming that the company owes anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 in subscription fees. Of course, the invoice is going direct to the accounts payable department.

Keep your eyes open for K B Services, Inc., PO Box 30396, Winston-Salem, NC 27130-0396.

Some companies have been smart enough to call D&B questioning the invoice; others have accused us of shoddy business practices (thinking we're sending these things out). And who knows how many have simply paid the invoice?

Our efforts to stop this scam have been frustrating. The FTC apparently doesn't care (even though this seems like consumer fraud, and a felonious fraud at that). We're still tracking down the US Postal Service's relevant inspector. The North Carolina Dept. of Justice (very cooperative) sent a letter to the PO Box, asking them to cease and desist. But I don't think THAT will work. And we've posted a scam notice to the website...but that's not going to build a lot of confidence among our potential subscribers.

It's hard enough to maintain a paid circulation these days, without some idiot out there working hard to ruin the reputation of a class-leading journal. D&B has a legitimate subscription renewal effort in process as I write this--which should be nice and confusing for our customers.

Anyone out there have experience with scams like these? I'd appreciate any insight and ideas. And, of course, we'll fulfill the sub of anyone who got caught in this scam.

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