Now first up, I’m not saying anyone has done anything illegal here. But just because something is legal doesn’t mean it is not a scam.
Has anyone else received an invoice like this from Australian Business Online? I suspect many have.
In the fine print, it says …
Please Note: This invoice was generated because you listed your company details on www.abol.com.au (Australia Business Online)
I can be pretty certain that this did not happen. I regard this invoice as fraudulent. I advised firstname.lastname@example.org that I would not be paying their invoice.
ABOL’s polite e-mail response was to say that they had contacted my “Advertising or marketing manager”. That would be me or me. Yeah, right.
Further, ABOL indicated that I had a “free” listing which has now expired and is now due for renewal.
ABOL’s Free Directory Listing
So how good is this free listing? Here’s a part of the top-level category listings on ABOL’s home page.
Part of ABOL’s directory home page
Where would you expect to find my company, which develops custom software for businesses and government departments? Perhaps under IT / Communications? No, it’s not there.
Here it is. Look at the breadcrumbs. It’s filed under Shopping >> Household Goods >> Computers. Strangely, none of my clients have ever bought any software development services while on a Shopping Trip. I don’t sell household goods or computers either.
ABOL’s free listing for Fitzsimon IT Consulting
And apparently my Advertising Manager (that would be me) or my Marketing Manager (me again) approved this? One of the characteristics of spammers and scammers is that they often forget about accuracy while chasing volume.