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Verizon Warns Businesses About Fake Phone Bills

Verizon and Postal Inspectors Pursue California Case

News Release

June 18, 2002 –

NEW YORK -- Verizon business customers should be on the alert for fraudulent phone bills that are designed to look like Verizon bills, the company warned today.

Verizon security and postal inspectors are investigating the fraudulent bills that apparently originated in California and have resulted in over 140 complaints from business customers around the country who received a bill from a company identified as "verizon e." That company is not affiliated with Verizon, although the bills are designed to look like Verizon bills. The fraudulent bills have a layout and color scheme that is similar to Verizon bills.

In addition to referring the matter to and cooperating with postal authorities, Verizon has taken legal action against the individuals behind the "verizon e" bills.

"We want to take whatever steps are necessary to protect our business customers from being victimized by these bogus bills," said Mike Hassett, Verizon vice president for business marketing. "In addition to our concerns about our customers, we are troubled about any exploitation of our brand, which is the most-recognized brand in the telecommunications industry."

Hassett said business customers who receive one of these phony "verizon e" bills or have questions about their bill, should call the Verizon business office listed on their Verizon bill or listed in the local Verizon directory.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 133.8 million access line equivalents and approximately 29.6 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and nearly 248,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.

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Media Contact:Mark Marchand, 518-396-1080

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