A while back I was ripped off by a false yellow pages company from florida parading and deceptively advertising themselves as "the" yellow pages! I actualy never gave them any money but they continue to send me invoices. I don't expect to ever pay. While doing research on this company I stumbled across a site known as the bad business bureau or rip off report.com
Basically consumers are allowed to share about false or bad dealings with any business. Not only is it interesting to read about all the scams that are taking place in every realm of business but it is a great place to do research about businesses. All reports are openly shared as well. One very interesting part about this this site is the sheer number of reports - I would guess into the 10s of thousands. The BBB or better business bureau is even reported! Apparently companies are simply paying them lots of money to stay on their good side and not on the consumers.
If I ever come across any shady businesses in the future that I will be paying any significant amount of money, I will definately be typing their name in google along with "rip of report" to see if anything comes up. I highly suggest using it as means to protect yourself.