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The Yellow Pages scam


I was sorry to learn that the little ‘walking fingers’ logo is not copyrighted and neither is the term  ‘yellow pages’.  I received what looks like an invoice for the Real Yellow Pages from AT&T.  Instead it was from a bogus company that tries to impersonate them, but is actually another business.  If you read the fine print it does say it is instead a solicitation but using the color yellow, those little walking fingers, and the name yellow pages tricks many people.

Be very careful if you receive these emails, mail, or phone calls.  If you fall for this deception don’t pay the bill since they obviously are misleading and report them to your local BBB.

I am not personally a fan of the AT&T conglomerate, so I’m not advocating for them.  Just be careful assuming what these logos and words mean.

Hey AT&T – why don’t you come up with a NEW logo for the Yellow Pages and copyright it?

About Beth Robinson

    Beth Robinson

    Tennessee native. Computer Systems Analyst – 30+ year career in computer industry. B.S. Computer Science, 1983 TTU. M.A. Instructional Technology, 1999 APSU.

    She is a member of the Friends of Dunbar Cave,  Tennessee Tree Steward,  The Climate Project, Audubon,  Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund, League of Conservation Voters, an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clarksville (UUFC), UU Service Committee, and UUFC Social Action chairperson / Green Sanctuary chairperson / Youth group advisor.





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One Response to “The Yellow Pages scam”

  1. mcody Says:
    December 21st, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Beth –
    Sadly, this scam has been around for decades. You are correct that the original ATT did not trademark the waking fingers logo so anyone can use it, and yellow pages is a generic term for the product so anyone can use that too. At this point most publishers have created their own version of these logos and trademarked them. You’ll notice the small “tm” next to the ATT logo.

    Not only do these solicitations that look like yellow page renewals, offer to place print listings, they can also say they are for Online Yellow Pages. Really these sites are nothing more than a list of the folks that sent in $258.

    The US Post office estimates that this scam has cost businesses $50 million in fake billing.

    If you receive an offer to “renew your yellow page listing” ask the company to provide a copy of the directory that it currently appears in. If they cannot, you probably should throw it away.

    Our firm, Directory Assistants Inc. assisted one business that had over $30,000 in fake bills that they paid annually in their yellow page program. By uncovering unnecessary charges, most businesses can save 40% – 80% on their yellow page bills.

    Michael Cody
    Vice President
    Directory Assistants Inc.


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