Beware of fake Yellow Pages accounts.

Criminals have scammed thousands of dollars from WA businesses by sending them bogus Yellow Pages accounts.

The unsolicited order forms request payment by credit card or cheque posted to a Hong Kong address. Some businesses got reminders threatening legal action if payments were not made.

The Department of Commerce said officers had stopped several cheques, each for about $1200, before they could be sent.

The company behind the scam, Open Business Directories Ltd, claims to be based in Hong Kong but runs a website on an Austrian domain registered to a business in Russia.

Jay Anthony, from the Starwest Hotel and Apartments in East Perth, warned the bogus accounts looked like the real Yellow Pages. "We got an advertising campaign from Yellow Pages sent to us," he said. "We thought, 'OK, it's good to run a listing in the Yellow Pages', so we agreed to it. $1238 we sent via bank transfer. No indication (we'll get it back)."

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said companies could check with Sensis, the company behind the real Yellow Pages.

The West Australian

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