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Trading Standards Warn Businesses To Beware Of New Scam
Hampshire County Council Trading Standards officers are warning businesses in Hampshire to be on their guard against a new scam targeting companies across the county.
The scheme involves a fraudulent company approaching businesses, seeking a fee to be included in a new business directory. However, once the customer has signed up to the scheme they realise that the directory is a sham.
Businesses are invoiced asking for payment for joining the directory and the scammers get lucky when companies pay these invoices without realising. Often, people are fooled as the fraudsters set up a limited company that sounds authentic, although it is common that they actually operate from a "virtual" rented mailbox or office.
The sham has been reported nationwide but Hampshire County Council Trading Standards have received a number of complaints about a company called Slom Solution Ltd.
Businesses have been targeted in the following areas in Hampshire: Highclere Chandler's Ford, Fordingbridge, Gosport, Hamble, Liphook, Lymington Petersfield Sherfield-on-Loddon Totton Warsash
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Ken Thornber, said:
"This scam is occurring all over the country and becoming more common in Hampshire. It is important that everyone is sceptical about any companies contacting them that they are not familiar with. Businesses need to report any suspicious calls or letters to Trading Standards.
"Thankfully none of the reported complaints involve any companies that have paid the fee, however it may be that many have, and are just not aware they have been scammed. These fraudsters rely on firms not having sufficient checking processes in place. Our Trading Standards officers advise companies to vigilantly check all invoices, especially those from an unknown source."
You can contact Hampshire County Council Trading Standards via Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 or visit the Consumer Direct website www.consumerdirect.gov.uk
For more information about how to protect yourself against scams, visit - www.hants.gov.uk/tradingstandards