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Dec 19, 2012

Island Yellow Pages advertising scam

Earlier in the newscast you heard about the scam involving two high profile U.D.P. operatives; well, there’s another scam and this time it is an online advertising company. A number of businesses have fallen prey to the hoax which appeared legit and linked to the Yellow Pages. News Five’s Isani Cayetano spoke today to various business persons who paid up for a service they never got.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

When business owner Zhi Gang Ye, proprietor of Timmy’s Restaurant & Bar, was contacted by a customer service representative, from Dolphin Bay Advertising, to market his eatery online he was interested.  That is until Ye discovered that he was being coerced into paying an exorbitant bill for a service he never agreed to, let alone receive.

 

Zhi Gang Ye, Proprietor, Timmy’s Restaurant

Zhi Gang Ye

“We have a situation here where this company is trying to do business with us but all of a sudden we haven’t told them yes or no, without actually [being] authorized they [have] already put us on their page and yet they just came and sent us a bill and asked us to pay.”

 

That invoice, made out to Timmy’s Restaurant & Bar on St. Thomas Street, was generated from an offshore company known as Island Yellow Pages, a subsidiary of Dolphin Bay Advertising Inc.  Ye is being charged a thousand, one hundred and eighty-eight dollars for a year’s worth of advertising in an online publication called CNN Islands.  Despite being guided through the process, Ye never gave consent for the company to go ahead with the placement.

 

Zhi Gang Ye

“They asked me if I wanted to do advertising with them and I was just saying to them let me think of it and then [that was] like within a week or two.  And then they actually called me and then they guided me through a process where they [had] already set up like how I am going to log on to the page that they set up for me and then to see everything.  And then I did went through the process and then that’s how it came across and then later on, like a week later, then the bill comes in.”

 

But Ye isn’t alone in his dilemma.  A few weeks ago Priscilla Beet, manager of Belize Corrugated Pipe Ltd., was also approached by a representative of Island Yellow Pages.  The sales pitch was similar, search engine optimization as a promise to increase the online presence of the company.

 

Priscilla Beet, Manager, Belize Corrugated Pipe Ltd.

Priscilla Beet

“I was contacted by Island Yellow Pages.  They said to me that they wanted to take the company on a larger spectrum of business where they have a major search engine where if you go online and type in corrugated pipe it would automatically zip in Belize Corrugated Pipe.  I don’t know why but for some reason I thought they were Belize Telemedia and I said to myself, “but how Ms. Annette haven’t told me that we’re going international?”  So the gentleman asked me my name, my P.O. Box number and I was giving him this information but thinking this is already in the system at Belize Telemedia [Ltd.] Well, at that point he said, “well ma’am I just want to let you know that these are the services we’re offering.” and I said, “well you know something, if you can call me back this same time tomorrow I’d like to go over with my managers the different packages.  If you can call me back on the different prices of your packages.”  He said, “Sure ma’am, at this same number?”  I said, “this same number this time tomorrow.”

 

But Beet never received a follow-up phone call.  Instead, she too was billed a month later for services she did not contract.  Unlike the previously mentioned business owners, Robert Usher, a Belize City contractor, was duped by the bogus company.  Usher shelled out money to Island Yellow Pages for advertisement that were never placed.

 

Robert Usher

Robert Usher, Proprietor, Usher Construction

“We got a call saying that they could give us good advertising, advertisement and we paid for it and then after we paid for it the phone went dead.  We could not get a hold of them none at all until last week they called and said they wanted payment for the New Year.  I said, “But we never got any service from you so we’re not going to pay.”  Then the guy said I’ll be suing you and I’ll be doing this and I’ll be doing that.”

 

Ye, on the other hand, alleges that he’s had his credit card information hacked by the company.

 

Zhi Gang Ye

“This company is trying to make me pay the bill that I owe but what happened is that I have never actually given them any permission or any authorization for any of my credit card information to them, but then yet Google is telling me that my credit card is being declined.  So I got scared and I actually went to the bank and then I blocked my credit card and then I actually filed for a replacement.  And then yet, after that I was wondering then I went to their page and made a few phone calls, just random phone calls on the list that they had there and then it seems that a few other businesses encountered the same problem.”

 

Priscilla Beet

“When a gentleman reached out to us last night via telephone, calls and says, “ I am calling from Timmy’s wanting to know about Yellow Page ads, Island Yellow Page ads.”  We were awfully surprised because fortunately for the man, and I have to say fortunately because at the end of it all I, in a sense, this company Belize Corrugated Pipe, stood as a testament of the lies and scams that they are a part of because when they did contact Timmy’s they did the same thing with Timmy’s Restaurant, I think it’s Timmy’s Restaurant.  Unfortunately this individual got scared about the suing and he paid.”

 

Businesses are advised that Island Yellow Pages is not in any way affiliated with B.T.L.’s Yellow Page services.  It would, however, seem as though operatives within that company have somehow managed to glean confidential information from B.T.L.’s database. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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21 Responses for “Island Yellow Pages advertising scam”

  1. I Am Smarter says:

    This trick was tried on my business years ago. I told them to F off and hung up. They kept calling back and when I would hear it was them I would just hang up. Finally my wife told them a few nice big fat cuss words and they quit calling. ha ha

  2. Marie says:

    They tried this with me a few years ago-_I gave my brother to handle and after he told them they acted prematurely and how they would threaten me with a lawsuit-he told them to !@#$ off-come and sue me and he will kill that !@#$ when he shows up-not surprisingly, never got bothered again. They are american cowards. Anyway, they will not come or waste money on a lawyer to sue you for 1000 even if you did owe them. Let them come and we can see who they are. I know they will read this and know it happened and I still want them to come and try to sue anyone else-I will still let someone !@#$ them up before they arrive to court.

  3. Storm says:

    Sadly, for all the good it brings, the internet is also the new haven of modern day pirates.

    I hope all these victims get justice — and I hope the scammers receive justice, too.

  4. just that some body walk by says:

    well Belize is not the only country that has this problem, if u search on their page there r other countries like Barbados, Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago, etc just to name a view, but what surprise me is that this thing had started to happen since 2004 (if u do a back ground check with some of the ripoff report), but no one had do anything about it, and what I really wish for is our media ,or our government report this matter to the Embassy of Us since this company is from the State, and get to the bottom of this, and take them off once and for all.

  5. Sherlene Roker says:

    I just received a call from 18139335206 who gave me the same information and I felt uneasy about it and decided to go online and do more research. Now I am seeing this is indeed a scam. Just wanted to verify. When I call the number back a voice message said Dolphin Bay and that I must leave a message which I did informing them that I went online and found out it is a scam and that they should not contact me again. I am located in the Bahamas. Are these the same persons?

  6. ARUBA says:

    APPARENTLY THEY ARE STRIKING AGAIN BUT THIS TIME IN ARUBA….BE AWARE !

  7. maria allen says:

    im fromJamaica and they did the same thing to me at my office n then kept harassing me that I signed up to be on their page n I need to pay.They even had a recording of the conversation I had with the agent.They played it for me then told me they r going to take us to Court

  8. Jerry says:

    ISLAND YELLOW PAGES IS AT IT AGAIN. Do not be intimidated by their statements that the recordings is a legally binding contract. Caribbean laws on this are very different from that in the USA and verbal consent on a recording does not make you legally bound to any undisclosed terms or conditions of service or contract. Island Yellow pages is a website that does not show up on any search for yellow pages on any of the search engines and your listing is not getting the exposure you are paying for. You can cancel their service even if you have consented to it and later changed your mind. They are playing a game of entrapment with the islanders by praying on our ignorance.

  9. Ayana says:

    Island Yellow Pages are pests the constantly call and nag you, and tell you that the introductory conversation is an agreement, and after constant denials, they now tell you that they would be coming to your country and sue you for the same 1000 US, emails everyday, as if the business owner have agreed to pay, they better be careful who they mess with from these Caribbean Islands.

  10. Melissa W says:

    This same thing happened to me, I’m in Barbados. They contacted me in July, informing of all these nice features and benefits if I advertise with their company and I listened to what they had to say, because it all sounded very enticing but, I obviously didn’t have the money to do nor was it going to be of any benefit to me. They have sent me numerous emails, with an invoice and talking about payment plans (and I never agreed to anything), saying that they have my voice recorded and that it’s a legally binding agreement and basically the same crap that they have been telling all of you. My dad gave them a few choice words as well and then they started talking about lawyers and sending someone here to Barbados to take pictures of my small (home) business and all that jazz. What I want to know though is why haven’t these people been arrested as yet???!!!! If this has been going on since 2004….what’s taking the authorities so long to do so??!!! Is it that they need more people to speak up about this whole thing…let these idiots know that the people from the Caribbean aren’t as stupid as they may think!

  11. Steve says:

    They are also threatening to take me to court. I cancelled the service when i realized that they were a scam after i looked them up on the internet. But i would love to know, has anyone ever been taken to court by these people.

  12. Bermy says:

    Be aware that these alias (SARA STONE/ DAVID PHILLIPS/ DAVID FOX) are frauds working under the name of Island Yellow Pages/ Island Media, Dolphin Bay Advertisement and Stone thomos and Goldberg. They have also tried to pursue businesses here in Bermuda. This is a helpful to those also targeted by these fraudulent people you can contact and forward on these people to the National Fraud Center in Washington DC for investigation.

  13. Korena says:

    These persons are scammers. They play it all nice and cool initially and then try to get nasty. I love the idea of the advertising, but kept pressing for them to email me all the information that was originally discussed. I also gave verbal authorization for them to do a draft of the ads, but when some guy, John Marsh I believe his name was called, asking me to login to the site and then to scroll to the bottom of the page and type my name, I said heck no. I reading all this fine print first. Turns out that after reading it and seeing the price to be US $79.99 instead of US $7.99 a month as it sounded like the lady said and due to the pushy way this guy was instructing me to put my name to the agreement, I decided to do some research and found out that they really are scammers. I sent emails, immediately alerting them that I don’t want the ads and got the same recording and harsh words stating it was legally binding etc. I told him I don’t care and I will not be doing business with them. A week later Sara Stone calls and says she can work out a payment plan for me. I told her to send me an email, which I promptly responded to tell her I will not be doing business with their shady company. Then in steps Michael Goldberg, threatening to wait by my shop and take away all I have.

    These people are frauds and want to use strong arm tactics.

    Why don’t we all post our respective encounters with these frauds all over our respective social networks and let this foolishness stop.

  14. Dian says:

    Had this same thing that has been happening to everyone happen to me 1 week ago
    I got a call from a lady representing Island Yellow Pages trying to sell me the same scam
    this lady was talking very very very fast I guess it’s because she was making an international phone call from U.S.A to Roatan Honduras wanting to add us to their listing for $1,200 wanted us to pay $100 monthly.
    was told I would be contacted with 1 week from another agent of the company to give more information and for us to start making payments we never told them or agreed we wanted to be on their listings this happen on a Monday the next day with out making any agreement I was sent a bill and a form to fill out information of ones card etc. I went online to search for their website and what I found is many people talking about them being a scam.
    the next day I got a call from this lady again I told her we’re not interested because we found out they are a scam her reply to me was “and you believe everything you hear” got another call about 4 days later this time she was pretending to be from my country Honduras I live in Roatan Bay Islands they were speaking English to me the first time they called but since I told them they are a scam they started calling me speaking in Spanish trying to trick me into a new scam but I told them we are not interested. every time they email us it was from a different mailbox address what I did is went to my mailbox settings and block all their email addresses from going to my inbox instead I send them to trash bin so I can never see none of their emails because they don’t reach my inbox this is what I do when I receive any new emails address from them scammers. The FBI need to start looking into this they need to track down these online predators and stop them they are stealing and lying and tricking people the FBI need to open a website where people from all over the world can go and post all information they have about these predators people can provide phone numbers and email address these predators use to contact by these internet pirates whom are just a big scam.

  15. Jerry Hale says:

    They are doing this in Roatan now!

  16. Former Employee says:

    ***WARNING*** As a former employee of this scum bag, I can tell all of you that if you ever get a call from anyone at “Island Yellow Pages” simply hang up. There is nothing they can do to you. Whether you got tricked in to the “agreement” or not, all they can do is keep calling. Which I know that is probably very annoying but, its the best advice I can give you. Also, if you would like to take it a step farther, contact a lawyer (if you have one) or someone in authority and have them file charges against David Phillips and his joke company. He can do no more to you other than to harass you. There are plenty of companies that have been tricked by this “company” and just refuse to pay, and guess what? Nothing happens to them. The biggest kicker is, not only does he screw over you guys (the clients), he also likes to screw over his employees. There have been plenty of times where we haven’t gotten paid. On top of that, if you get fired or quit (bc your sick of david and his rip off company), you last two pay checks suddenly go from $9 and hour to $7.79. Which is illegal!! Then you have to wait almost an entire month before this **ck send you your last paycheck. DO NOT DEAL WITH THIS GUY OR FOR THAT MATTER, DO NOT WORK FOR HIM!!!! *****WARNING***

  17. Paul says:

    We also have been slapped with a bill suddenly and when I asked for the written contract I was told that they had a verbal agreement with my manager. What they do is they wil call you and say that they are the quality assurance manager and that they would like to verify all the information they have online ( like its a renewal) Then they rattle off all your info and slip in that this will be billed and that you just have to state your name to verify that all is correct. Then they will harrass you to start to pay for a tiny ad on a website that is terribly done. If you refuse you will be confornted iwth a clearly eddited telephone recording. These people are sacmmers and fraud.

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  19. Katia says:

    These people are the worse scammers I have ever come across! They trick you into thinking they will call you to discuss your options further and the next thing you know, they send you a bill and when you advise nicely there has been a misunderstanding they HARASS you daily! The then create a cheesy ad with mistakes, for your business and post it on their website WITHOUT any form of approval! I finally got tired of asking them nicely to remove the cheesy ad they posted WITHOUT my permission but they would not do so! They continue to harrass via telephone. DO NOT DEAL WITH THEM – IF THEY CALL, SUGGEST YOU JUST HANG UP!!

  20. Laury says:

    I used to work for these type of companies and this was way back when I was only 16! This is considered a minor in the USA. I thought this was a legitimate company. The people are despicable. Employers and employees alike. They have no attorney, which when they call to collect, they claim they have. Most of the people I worked for frequented methadone clinics! That 813 area code number aforementioned is based in Hillsborough County in Tampa, FL. These people are crooks. Stay local or do your international advertisement directly with the Yellow Pages. If you have done “business”
    with them just block their number and don’t pay. They can’t enforce it since it was not a legal and binding contract.

  21. H Hassan says:

    This is starting again. I got a call today telling me they wanted to update my information in the yellow pages, I told them a representative just visited me last week, they said no this is for the mobile directory. I told them that’s what he said. Then she said no this if for Island yellow pages and all we want to do is update your information and then she immediately started asking me if we are still located at… and our numbers are still… and what is the website or any other social media, so we can provide a link to it. At that point I stopped her and ask is there a fee for this? And she said it’s $2.50US a day. I said no thanks not interested. She hung up before I could even finish my sentence.

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