Advertising scams involve people who try and sell ads for promotional materials such as magnets, calendars, etc.
Ad reps use high pressure tactics and false affiliations to sell ad space, marketing tools, etc. Further complaints include billing for orders not placed, misrepresenting its affiliation with civic organizations, deceptive sales calls, non-receipt of products, and poor quality products.
The Cadiz Police Department offers these tips to businesses to guard against solicitation fraud:
- Before you agree to buy, get references from previous jobs and samples of the materials that were produced. Contact the references to find out if the work was completed on time and the materials were distributed as promised.
- Don’t be pressured into agreeing to anything immediately. Ask how you can reach the salesperson if you decide that you want to purchase the services.
- Shop around locally to compare services and prices. It may be less expensive to produce advertising materials yourself or with a local business. Check with the Cadiz/Trigg County Chamber of Commerce or other groups that you belong to for companies that may be able to help.
- If you aren’t familiar with the company, check its complaint record with the Better Business Bureau and/or the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office. Lack of complaints is no guarantee, but it is helpful to know if problems have already been reported.
- Get a written contract that includes the company’s name, address, and telephone number, the price and payment schedule, a description of the materials, the number that will be produced, and the date and plan for distribution.
- Don’t pay the full amount up front. Insist on holding out a substantial amount until you have received confirmation that the materials have been produced and distributed according to the contract.
- Report fraudulent sales of advertising materials to the Cadiz Police Department, the Better Business Bureau, and/or the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office.