Buyer beware PDF E-mail

Local businesses and organizations are being targeted by a telemarketing scam which uses a trusted local resource as the bait. It’s a frustrating ploy that is apparently still at play.

The News-Register staff has learned in recent weeks that an out-of-state company is calling on Aurora area prospects pretending to be representing the “Hamilton County Visitor and Newcomer’s Guide.”  The News-Register has coordinated that project for more than 20 years and in fact published the most recent edition in May of this year.

The Guide is a “Reader’s Digest” style magazine offering 80 pages worth of information on community services, education, tourism, religion and a detailed history of our county. It truly is a community endeavor, funded in part by Hamilton County Visitor’s Committee tax dollars. Newcomers, visitors and prospective residents or businesses are given a copy for free.

A friendly voice using clever but unethical tactics is attempting to exploit that sense of community. They obviously have a copy of the 2011 magazine edition in their possession, and use that as their one and only reference. All their communication is handled via phone, FAX or email, which is a red flag right off the bat.
We have documented proof, for example, that a local business which ran a particular ad only in the 2011 Guide was faxed a copy of that same ad asking if they wanted to run it again. The owner grew skeptical, wondering why a News-Register representative wasn’t the one making the call. When enough questions were asked, the company stopped calling.

Unfortunately, the tactics have been successful in some instances. We have alerted the Better Business Bureau of the situation, but as of yet have not been able to completely stop the perpetrators. We, too, feel victimized by this scam and want to alert any and all who many be contacted.

Please be aware that the Guide, which is historically published every other year, will not be updated until the spring of 2015. If anyone calls suggesting otherwise, know that the sales pitch is not legit. We do not hire outside sales representatives because we enjoy the opportunity to serve our community directly.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office and make it a point to work directly with the familiar faces on the News-Register staff.

Kurt Johnson

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