Re: Scam alert: Watch out for phone calls from "Mrs. Larson"/American Directory Listing Rick Anderson 17 Dec 2004 17:39 UTC

> Could you clarify exactly what
> these people are trying to accomplish?

Good question, Cindy.  American Directory Listing is one of several
companies (others include World Telecommunication Database and the
National Info-Tech Center, but they change names frequently) that makes
its money by trying to trick libraries into purchasing items (usually
directories) or services (usually directory listings) that they haven't
ordered.  They usually start off by calling your library and trying to
get a student employee or staff member either to "approve" shipment of
the item in question or to "confirm" the library's address; they use
that conversation as the pretext for then sending an invoice, usually to
the tune of several hundred dollars.  If you don't pay the invoice, they
then start calling and making very aggressive noises -- threatening to
take your library to court, to bring in a collection agency, etc.  All
of this is designed to either scare you into paying the invoice or hound
you into paying it just to get them out of your hair.

I devote a chapter to dealing with scam vendors in my book _Buying and
Contracting for Resources and Services: A How-to-Do-It Manual for
Librarians_ (Neal-Schuman, 2004).  I'm not trying to plug my book here,
honestly -- anyone on SERIALST who doesn't own it or have access to it
can contact me OFF-LIST and I'll be happy to email a copy of the
relevant chapter.  It will be in a slightly awkward manuscript format,
but is still easily usable.

Rick Anderson
Dir. of Resource Acquisition
University of Nevada, Reno Libraries
(775) 784-6500 x273