It’s great to have helped so many people avoid paying these scammers – but can we help them avoid becoming victims in the first place?

Since I blogged about the big online directory scams (particularly Expo Guide and World Business Directory) a couple of years ago, I’ve had on average 100 visitors a day to these posts.

Every one of several hundreds of comments on these posts comes from someone who has fallen victim to these scams.  Thankfully, after reading other peoples’ comments, the majority of those take a stand and refuse to pay. It’s also clear that a number have already paid at least one ‘installment’ of around €1000 to these scammers.

It’s great that my posts are right at the top of Google for “Expo Guide”.  That makes it easy for people to find this information when the nasty shock arrives in the form of a phone call from Expo Guide’s ‘debt collection’ agency or a written demand. And it’s great to use this blog format to collect reassuring comments from other non-paying victims – all of which boost the visitors confidence to hold out.  This site and your comments must have saved people tens of thousands of pounds and immeasurable heartache and worry.

But here’s the question: given that not one single one of the dozen or so major Government backed fraud-prevention, consumer-protection agency sites has any information whatsoever on these scams, how can we raise awareness of this before people sign the form and get into trouble?

Another problem with these scams is that there are no figures of how many people in the UK have actually lost money to these scams, completed their fraudulent forms or simply received them.

So what do you think we can do to inform the average small business owner in the UK about these scams before they become a victim of one?

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