Company knocks off Yellow Pages invoice to dupe business owners

Company knocks off Yellow Pages invoice to dupe business owners

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"This has happened in other states and people have paid it," businesswoman Vicky Curtis said. "Be very vigilant about the bills that come in and double check your addresses." "This has happened in other states and people have paid it," businesswoman Vicky Curtis said. "Be very vigilant about the bills that come in and double check your addresses."
The old Yellow Pages walking fingers logo was on the new invoice Curtis received. The old Yellow Pages walking fingers logo was on the new invoice Curtis received.

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

KARNS (WATE) - A Knoxville business owner is thanking her secretary for spotting a bogus invoice she received recently.

The invoice came from a company that uses the old Yellow Pages logo back from the days of the company's famous tagline, "Let your fingers do the walking."

Other businesses may have also received the bill.

There are several Yellow Page directories. The real Yellow Pages and Yellow Book are the most popular.

But Vicky Curtis has never heard of a company called AYPR.

In Karns, Kenny Osborne is the shop foreman at Fire-Pro Sales and Services, a business that sells and services fire safety equipment for factories, hospitals, and restaurants.

Co-owner Vicky Curtis and her husband have operated Fire-Pro for 18 years.

The Yellow Pages is one of several ways they advertise their company. Vicky uses both the Yellow Book and the real Yellow Pages.

An invoice for nearly $500 came to Fire-Pro last month.

Vicky Curtis' secretary spotted it first.

"We received an invoice that looked very similar to our Yellow Pages invoice. The first thing I noticed was the logo in the center is the old Yellow Pages logo," she said.

Today, the real Yellow Pages logo is different; gone is the walking fingers graphic.

But there it was on an invoice from an company called AYPR.

"It's very similar to the amount we pay every month and our information as it's printed in the telephone book is there," Curtis said. "We made the call to the number that's on here. Got no response. It was a machine that kept circling 'round and 'round."

When comparing the two invoices, the real Yellow Pages bill looks a lot like the one Curtis received.

It's easy to understand how some people might be fooled by the bill.

To correspond with the company, you have to email them. Wanting to know about the invoice sent to Fire Pro, 6 On Your Side wrote last week. There's been no response.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has record on AYPR.

"If you send them money, you are not going to get anything for it," said Jerry Tipton with the BBB. "Whoever is going to keep it, you're out."

AYPR has different offices around the country, mostly out West and in the Midwestern U.S.

The business has an F rating from the BBB.

"From what the Better Business Bureau told me, this has happened in other states and people have paid it," Curtis said. "Be very vigilant about the bills that come in and double check your addresses."

What Curtis says is true, whether you are a business owner or not.

A bill or invoice sent to you may be fraudulent and you have to be vigilant before sending it off.

Our messages requesting comment from AYPR, both by phone and email, were never returned.


If you have a consumer issue, call the 6 On Your Side Hotline at 865-633-5974 or email ddare@wate.com.

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