Sunday, March 27, 2011

EU Business Register Scam?

As busy and easily distracted small business owners, moteliers seem to be an easy target for scams that are designed to deceive and extract funds. 

Legitimate online motel directory listings and contact details are easily found scattered throughout the Internet and this makes it easy for unscrupulous hawkers and scam artists to build a database to methodically troll. 

Many moteliers will be familiar with dodgy international players such as Nova Channel AG from Lucerne in Switzerland and the International Travel and Tourism Guide from the Czech Republic.

For many years, these firms in various guises have been sending pro-forma invoice forms for the inclusion in a directory (and a CD Rom!) of dubious value using questionable sales techniques.

As soon as one dodgy online directory fades into the ether another seems to take its place and that's why we were interested to receive the following email from the EU Business Register domiciled in Spain:

From: EU Business Register []
Sent: Sunday, 27 March 2011 6:19 a.m.
To: xxxx
Subject: EU Business Register 2011/2012

Dear Madam/Sir,

In order to have your company inserted in the EU Business Register for 2011/2012, please print, complete and submit the enclosed form to the following address:

BOX 252 - 28020 Madrid

Fax: +34 91 791 9167

The email came with the following attachment:

EU Business Register

The sales technique used the EU Business Register appears to be a carbon copy previously used by Nova Channel AG and the International Travel and Tourism Guide.

On the face of it, EU Business Register are simply requesting business owners to "update" details for an internet directory listing and they state "updating is free of charge" however it is also stated "only sign if you want to place an insertion."

Many business owners complete and return believing that they are updating a free listing. But by signing the document they are unknowingly agreeing to a directory insertion with a subscription @ EUR 995.00 per annum for the next three years.

We know from the direct experience of others that a simple unguarded mistake can lead to a lot of worry and angst for fellow business owners that are often hounded by the dodgy directory company's own internal debt collection agencies.

A simple piece of advice ignore and delete any email offer.

And if you did sign, please feel to contact us.

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