Businesses have received calls from people claiming to represent a number of publications and demand money for unauthorised advertising.
Consumer Protection Commissioner Anne Driscoll said the promoted publications were of poor quality and unlikely to be distributed to anyone.
She said the invoice could be for an advertisement that was not placed, for a publication that does not exist or has limited distribution, use details of a previous order from a different publication or presented as a free trial with hidden fees.
‘The promoters of these publications claim that they are affiliated with legitimate community organisations which may not be the case,’ she said.
‘The promoters target junior staff that are coerced into signing advertising contracts under the belief that the advertising has been approved by supervisors.
‘They then harass staff to pay invoices for advertising in dubious publications, threatening to take legal action or involve police if payment is not made.’
For more information and advice, businesses can call the Small Business Development Corporation on 131 249 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org