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Businesses warned to be vigilant following publishing scam reports
11:05am Friday 7th September 2012 in News
BUSINESSES across the county are being urged to be vigilant following reports of a publishing scam involving emergency services.
Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards department has issued the warning following reports that in recent days a company has been cold-calling businesses purporting to be selling advertising space in a diary for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.
A spokesman said that generally such calls request an immediate payment for an advert and either the publication will not materialise or, if produced, will not have the support of the named organisation. In addition the publishing company will seldom provide any information regarding where or when the publication will be distributed or how many will be printed. Similar scams have been reported to claim affiliation with other emergency services including the police and ambulance service and target a wide range of organisations including schools and local traders. The department warns that the number of unsolicited contacts with businesses over the next few months are likely to increase as publishing companies claim to be producing diaries and calendars for 2013.
Angela Jones, Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards Service Manager, said: “Our advice is to exercise extreme caution when dealing with unsolicited contacts and never provide financial details over the phone.
“Each year trading standards receives numerous reports of both businesses and private individuals being scammed, in some cases losing thousands of pounds. If you suspect that you have been the victim of a scam, report the matter to trading standards immediately”.
Trading Standards can be contacted via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506 or at www.adviceguide.org.uk.