BISMARCK, ND – Vladimir Adolphe, doing business as GeneralYellowpages.com and Electronic Media Marketing Group, Inc., has been banned from doing business in North Dakota after consumer fraud investigators determined he was engaging in deceptive practices. Adolphe lists addresses in both New York and New Jersey.
After receiving reports from several businesses that received invoices for advertising services they did not order, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem directed the consumer protection division initiate an investigation. The investigators determined that Adolphe, who also goes by Vlad Adolph, and his representatives called businesses across the state claiming they had previously ordered a business listing service and asking if they wished to continue the service. When the business asked to cancel the service, it was informed that the bill for the previous year’s service must be paid first. Adolphe or his agents then sent an invoice for $599.95 and threatened legal action if the bill was not immediately paid. In some instances, Adolphe claimed the business owed for services from multiple years and submitted invoices with late fees added. One company received a threatening demand for payment of $3,620 for past due services, even after it paid the first invoice. Adolphe claimed to have recordings of individuals authorizing the services, but was not able to provide investigators with those recordings or any other proof that the businesses he invoiced had ever ordered or received the services.
Stenehjem said “It appears Mr. Adolphe targeted churches and local non-profits because those organizations are often run by volunteers or employees who may not be experienced in advertising and business accounting practices.” Stenehjem urged all North Dakota businesses to verify that there is an original written order before paying an invoice.