Area businesses report scam map ad sales
Written by Charles Kocher, Pilot staff writer   
January 23, 2009 12:10 pm
Advertising customers of the Curry Coastal Pilot are reporting scam calls from women falsely representing themselves as having connections with the Pilot and its sister publication, the Daily Triplicate.

The women reportedly are soliciting ads in a map being produced by a Premier Map Co., according to various Pilot customers.

Neither the Pilot nor the Triplicate have any connection with any outside map company or project from outside the community, according to Pilot Publisher Charles Kocher.

“They were good,” said Bill Lyons of Bill’s Lawn Care. “But they did a couple of things that tipped me off. They didn’t know where Smith River was and then they wanted me to pay today  – they didn’t want to send me a bill.”

The Pilot sent out a marketing alert to 500 customers by e-mail Thursday, warning of the situation.

That e-mail helped Realtor Tim Moore of Re/Max Coast & Country to avoid giving the women any money. “They said the ad would be cheaper because they would use the ad from The Pilot,” said Moore. But his caller ID said “withheld number” and that, Moore reported, seemed strange for a sales call.

Similar reports have come from Blue Pacific Realty and Pacific Coast Hearing Center. They received calls about map advertising, with allusions to a connection to the Pilot, but with no way in which to contact the sales team.

Both the Pilot and the Triplicate produce their own community maps. The Pilot’s map of Brookings-Harbor is scheduled for sales in February and production in March, just in time for the visitors who come to the coast during spring vacation.

For information about those maps, contact the Pilot at (541) 469-3123 or The Daily Triplicate at (707) 464-2141.

In addition, businesses in Crescent City have complained recently about the poor quality of a map produced by a Premier Map Co.

In September, representatives of Hometown Productions & Premier Map Company, a division of Universal Adcom, came through town selling advertisement space on an upcoming map of Crescent City to local businesses.

“We were taken for a ride,” said Suburban Propane manager Kirk Neil, calling the map “an inferior product.”

Neil, who paid around $500 for his ad, pulled the maps from his store because of the inaccuracies.

The map, produced by Hometown Productions and Premier Map Company, a division of Universal Adcom, labels Crescent City Harbor as “Monterey Bay.”

“I tried to contact the company,” Neil said. “But they never returned my calls. I would rather have that money on my bottom line instead of theirs.”

A Web search for the two names, Premier Map and Universal Adcom, turned up similar scam reports from across the nation. Universal AdCom officials were not available for a phone call Friday afternoon.