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Chamber warns of advertising scam

Reported by: Wayne Hereford
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Updated: 1/16 11:39 am
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA)-- The Community Development Foundation's Chamber of Commerce Division is warning its members about an advertising scam.

The scam uses the Mississippi State and Ole Miss sporting events schedule.

Some chamber members were reportedly solicited by someone using the name of at least one well-known company to make a profit.

"We got a call from one of our members this morning that someone had contacted them claiming to be with the local chamber," said CDF Chamber of Commerce Vice-President Karen Geddie.

She says that someone claiming to be with Level 3 Communications called members soliciting advertising for a sports event calendar for Mississippi State or Ole Miss.

Geddie says that her organization is in no way affiliated with this advertising scam. 

"The chamber has not authorized that at all," she said. 

Neither has anyone from a company called Level 3 Communications which has a website touting affiliates all over the world.

WTVA did talk with a representative of Level 3 who denied any knowledge of an advertising campain involving Mississippi State or Ole Miss.

In fact, a media representative tells WTVA.com that Level 3 is not making the calls and is misrepresenting Level 3.

Apparently, there was another caller claiming to represent another company who contacted Chamber of Commerce members as well.

"Another company claimed to be National Business Advertising Incorporated. They either claimed to be with the Chamber, refered by another member of the chamber, or maybe even refered by the chamber," said Geddie.

She said she talked with a representative of both companies.

"They said that they had not authorized that and that it would stop immediately," said Geddie.

Mississippi State issued a statement this afternoon saying the school has no connection with the advertising. We have not received a reply from Ole Miss as of yet.

"So, everybody just needs to check and verify who they are talking to before they give out any information," she warned.

Geddie says that the two companies that the chamber uses to solicit advertising for them are the Tupelo-Lee County Map and Liveablility Magazine.

They are published by Southern Engineers and Journal Publishing respectively.
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