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Better Business Bureau Releases List of Scams Small Businesses Need to Avoid

NEW YORK – For small businesses today, scams are a major and growing problem, often perpetrated by unscrupulous individuals possessing delicate information and seeking to separate hard-working entrepreneurs from their money. However, the Better Business Bureau recently released a list of the most common scams targeting businesses today, something that is vital reading for pretty much anyone, whether they work for themselves or someone else. Staying informed about the most common scams going around and getting familiar with the different techniques involved is the best defense for any small business owner not looking to become a victim, and when armed with the information provided by the Better Business Bureau, identifying these vile charlatans and avoiding them is now easier than ever. Most scams nowadays involve people who have acquired a business’ publicly-available contact information and, with a bare minimum of research, will reach out to that company posing often as an authority figure or charitable institution while requesting money. Scams of this nature can really devastate a business if successful, and it’s vitally important for any entrepreneur to be prepared when they become the target of a phone or email scammer. Some of the most common small business scams include the following: Businesses receiving fraudulent invoices requesting payment for goods and services that were never provided. These individuals will often attempt to have the bookkeeper or other authorized payment representative wire or transfer large amounts of money to an unverified account. Typically, the amount of money requested begins as relatively

New Vermont Law Requires Data Brokers to Register, Paving Eventual Pathway to Protecting Consumers Nationwide

NEW YORK – Data brokers – companies that routinely buy and sell public, personal data obtained through various sources for the purpose of creating targeted ad campaigns – have for years been a secretive bunch. 21st century laws have not yet caught up with this practice, and as a result it’s not often known who these companies are, or what it is exactly that they do with the disturbing level of personal information they cull from countless public sources. However, one state is finally making a stand for consumers’ rights. Vermont has recently passed a law that requires companies to register with their Secretary of State if they conduct in the buying and selling of third-party personal data. This law represents the first time any state has attempted to assign some degree of culpability to an industry that largely operates under the radar and without rules. However, some critics are complaining that the law, while opening up these companies to some degree of public scrutiny, nonetheless does not provide the level of transparency that some people wish. While data brokers do have to register with Vermont Secretary of State – publicly identifying themselves as data brokers – they however do not have to reveal the individuals in their databases, the specific types of data they collect, or who they sell it to. Likewise, data brokers are not required to offer opt-out procedures for members of the public who wish not to have their personal information harvested for advertising purposes. However,

The Importance of Getting Your Business Phone Number Properly Listed

NEW YORK – In today’s economic climate, starting your own small business can be a risky proposition; however, it can also be an immensely profitable one if you take the right steps to give your business the exposure it needs. Online reviews, a clever marketing campaign, an attractive and easy-to-use website, and numerous ads – both in print and online – can certainly get you attention. However, there’s one thing many tend to overlook when establishing a new entrepreneurial endeavor, and that’s getting the phone number for your business properly listed in order to achieve maximum exposure of your brand, and ensuring that your potential customers can easily reach out and touch you, as the old phone company jingle goes. In the old days, someone would simply crack open a print Yellow Page directory when they were looking for goods and services in their area; however, this was before the Internet came along and changed things forever. In addition to online Yellow Pages directories, things have also changed drastically overall in the modern telecommunications industry. Where in the past, there were only one or two major phone companies, today the industry is decentralized and comprised of multiple carriers, and this means there are many, many different directories out there. Depending on the scope of your business and how far across the country it reaches, you need to ensure that your phone number is listed in every market applicable to you. The general rule of thumb is that if a customer

Frontier Communications to Continue Mass Delivery of Print Yellow Pages in Upstate NY Despite Demand

NEW YORK – Frontier Communications, a publishing company that supplies print telephone directories to customers in Rochester, New York and beyond, has recently and curiously reversed a decision it made regarding curtailing the mass delivery of their Yellow Pages business listings book, instead opting to continue supplying it to residents in their area despite their fading demand and greater reliance upon digital options. In early 2019, Frontier had approached the New York State Service Commission and asked for permission to end the mass delivery of Yellow Page directories to its customers, arguing that interest in print directories had decreased greatly in favor of reliance upon electronic directory options. Citing the fact that the vast majority of consumers simply throw the Yellow Page directories they find on their doorsteps in the trash or recycling bin, Frontier also pointed out that the creation and disposal of their directories had a detrimental impact upon the environment. Based on their pervasive arguments, Frontier was given approval to end mass delivery of their Yellow Page directories; delivery would only be made to customers who had personally requested a copy, Frontier said. Frontier had also ended the delivery of their residential White Pages directories five years ago, a decision they have completely adhered to.However, Frontier recently reversed themselves in regards to their Yellow Page directories, stating that they had no intentions of ending it anytime soon. This, according to reports, is possibly due to the fact that the vast amount of business advertising contained on each

Targeted Advertising: The Future of Commerce, or Serious Invasion of Consumer Privacy?

NEW YORK – Years ago, a well-known story made its way around the news media regarding a father who’s teenage daughter had been receiving mail ads for maternity clothing and nursery furniture from mega-retailer Target.  It turns out that, even in the early 2000s, national retail chains were using complex computer algorithms to determine products you may need based on previous purchases you have made. Based on the purchases this gentleman’s daughter had made, Target’s computers had made an assumption – and a correct one – that she was indeed pregnant and even approximately estimated her due date. Based on that information, it automatically generated advertising mailers and sent them to her address. On one hand, this demonstrates an incredible degree of sophistication when it comes to the technology in use; in fact, some people may actually enjoy the convenience that these so-called “targeted ads” may afford them. Many others, however, consider this a gross and horrific violation of privacy. Targeted ads often make use of any information you may give to any given company, in addition to often utilizing any readily available, public information that may be floating around as well; particularly information commonly found in any White Page directory, such as name, address, phone number, and more. Also, bear in mind that the story above took place well over a decade ago. Obviously, technology has improved by leaps and bounds since then, so it’s only natural to wonder just what information a company can glean from your past

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