BBB Warns Of Golf Magazine Scam In Eastern Iowa - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

BBB Warns Of Golf Magazine Scam In Eastern Iowa

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The Better Business Bureau has issued an alert about a company that may be targeting small businesses by falsely claiming affiliation with local golf and country clubs and local chambers of commerce. The BBB says Vista Publishing is soliciting advertising space in a non-existent publication to local businesses in Eastern Iowa. The majority of reports about this activity are coming from the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Corridor and the Quad Cities region.

The company calls up local businesses and states they have been approved to be an advertiser in the local golf course magazine. Some of the organizations that have been used as bait include the Cedar Rapids Country Club, Elmcrest Country Club, Finkbine Golf Course and Hunter's Ridge Golf Course. In actuality, these groups have no knowledge of Vista Publishing. Management at the Cedar Rapids Country Club stated, "This activity was going on about 7-8 months ago. It was our understanding that they were using our name as a reference in their solicitations to businesses. We do not have a golf magazine and we told this company at the time that they did not have permission to use our name. It appears that they are back in the area."

Likewise the local Chambers state that Vista Publishing may be pulling membership rosters from their online business directory. Businesses that fall victim to Vista Publishing have given their credit card information to the company and are charged around $300.

Vista Publishing's phone number 954-941-2062 is linked to a company out of Pompano Beach, FL called 336 Publications also doing business as Golf Connection. Other names that local business owners have reported include Golf & Club Digest, Golf Digest Magazine and Golf Life Online.com. Presently, 336 Publications has an NR (No Rating) with the SE Florida BBB due to the fact that they are in the process of responding to previously closed unanswered complaints. Those individuals with complaints against this company are encouraged to contact the SE Florida BBB by visiting their website at www.seflorida.bbb.org <http://www.seflorida.bbb.org>.

BBB offers a few tips on how to protect you and your business from a less than scrupulous sales pitch:

· Don't agree to purchase anything simply based on a sales call. If the offer is really that good, get it in writing.

· Keep records of all your purchases and pay with a major credit card rather than your debit card. Credit cards charges are easier to dispute and offer more protection. A major credit card also will not disrupt your immediate cash flow in the event something goes wrong.

· If the publisher is claiming to be affiliated with a known reputable organization or company, be sure to check it out. In this case, many small business owners discovered this dishonest activity by contacting their local Chamber and/or their local golf course.

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