Fabian Demicoli

EP hearing tackles misleading company directories

The European Parliament's Petitions Committee and Simon Busuttil MEP organised a workshop on "Combating misleading business directories" in Brussels on 11 September.

Many enterprises, often small traders, fall victim to scams operated through misleading advertising and unwillingly sign up to an insertion into a business directory after having been led to believe that this would be free of charge – while in fact it is not.

UEAPME Enterprise Policy Director Luc Hendrickx was among the speakers at the event. Misleading directory companies have been a well-known reality since the 1960s among UEAPME members. It is now time for the authorities to take the problem seriously and enforce the existing laws. This type of scam must be considered as serious fraud and as a priority by public prosecutors, said Mr Hendrickx.

A cross-border EU point of contact between the administrative and judicial authorities must also be created to facilitate the exchange of information. Moreover, financial support should be given to organisations helping scam victims, and a blacklist should be established to gather data on scam companies.

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