Another warning about directory scams


Today we received an email from our local council office about a business directory scam that’s currently circulating. This particular scam targeted at all businesses, not just therapists (unlike the Commissioning.GP scam!), but we thought we should still bring it to the attention of our audience.

The email was as follows:

“One of the companies in our Business Guide community forwarded us a very suspicious fax today. This was from an organisation (reading the very small print) in Croatia which was offering to put the company concerned into a directory service, for a fee.  This was an example of the all too frequent  publishing & advertising or business directory scam.

With these types of scams, a rogue publisher approaches a business offering advertising space in a publication often associated with a worthy cause. Publications might include booklets, yearbooks, diaries, calendars or magazines for charities, crime prevention, drug awareness, hospitals or emergency service staff. Sometimes publishers make false claims about their connections with, for example, charities or local police, and sometimes they even mislead these organisations into becoming associated with them.

If the publication is ever printed at all, it is sometimes only in a small print run or with very limited distribution, and there is little or no guarantee that the audience will be relevant or local to the advertiser. If a charity donation is made, it is usually a tiny proportion of the overall revenue.

Another variation of this scam relates to business listings either in published directories, electronic directories or on websites.

We would advise business to beware of ‘official-looking’ documents from trade directories asking them to provide or confirm their website, email and other contact details. These often look like simple requests inviting a free listing but the small print can commit you to pay hundreds of pounds for an entry. The listing in the directory is generally worthless.

Please be very wary of ANY such service which asks for a fee.”


If you’d like to register your practice with legitimate online directories, free or otherwise, you can download a list from the members area of our website. Login here or sign up to become a member here (it’s free).