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Lichfield and Burntwood businesses warned over advertising scam

Businesses and traders in Lichfield and Burntwood  are being warned about a publishing scam which offers advertising opportunities in magazines that don’t exist.

Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards team and Staffordshire Police have had a number of complaints from firms who have been approached by fictitious companies offering phoney adverts.

Traders are cold called by organisations claiming to be working with the police and other agencies.They are offered attractive advertising opportunities in magazines and booklets which claim to support either emergency services, schools, or health and safety awareness initiatives.

Pat Corfield, Staffordshire County Councillor and cabinet member for communities and culture, said: “Our trading standards team has checked with Staffordshire Police, who have told us that to their knowledge no such publications exist or have been commissioned by them.

“This sounds like a clever scam designed to con traders into taking out adverts in magazines and booklets that don’t exist and are never printed.

“The scam can appear to be genuine with some traders even being sent an actual booklet. But there are often only a handful printed to try to make the offer look real.

“If you are approached and are unsure about it you should ask for written details of the organisation and who the magazines are distributed to. If you are being asked to pay for advertising that wasn’t agreed then ask for written proof, don’t pay any money and get in touch with our Trading Standards Business Advice Line on 08453 303 313.”

Chief Superintendent Jon Drake, from Staffordshire Police, added: “Our general advice would be the same as if someone knocked at your door trying to sell you something. Tell them you don’t buy from cold-callers or, alternatively, take the time to check out who they say they are.

“If they are genuine, they shouldn’t have any problem with this and should willingly provide their contact details and those of whoever they claim to be working with in the force.

“If you have any concerns about someone claiming to represent the force please ring Staffordshire Police on 101.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

2 Comments

  1. supercleancarpets

    6th January, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    scum bags

  2. supercleancarpets

    6th January, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I run a carpet cleaning business in Cannock. and I constantly get phone calls every week trying to get me to advertise in local magazines. claiming to be from the NHS, police even the the fire brigade more needs to be done to stop this sort of thing because. Some businesses will fall foul to this sort of thing.