Beware of bogus advert scam

BOGUS advertising invoices are being sent to Northumberland businesses.

The county’s Trading Standards service has warned businesses to be wary of invoices and phone calls claiming that advertising contracts have been placed.

Although the information appears to be genuine, many businesses have no recollection of placing an advert, often because they never did, and when they start to ask questions the companies become aggressive and abusive.

Business and Consumer Protection Manager Jimmy Power said: “Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to these types of unfair business practice.

“We advise all businesses to be wary. Don’t be pressured or tricked into agreeing to advertising you don’t want or into paying for something you haven’t requested.”

Advice includes don’t take unsolicited calls when you are busy, don’t agree to something just to get rid of a persistent caller, be wary of callers suggesting that you are placing an order or entering an agreement when you don’t wish to do so, be wary of follow-up calls that may try to trick you into an agreement and if you are not clear of any details ask questions.

People should also not be pressured into paying for services they haven’t agreed to, that haven’t been provided or that don’t match those agreed to.

Anyone suspicious about the legitimacy of any calls or invoices should contact Consumer Direct on 0845 404 0506.