Business scam alerts

You can report scams through our partners the Citizens Advice helpline using their online report form or by calling 03454 04 05 06.  You can also report scams to Action Fraud, the UK national fraud office, using their online fraud reporting tool or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold callers claiming to be selling advertising on behalf of the ‘Crime Prevention Team’ – 6 December 2018

We are warning businesses about telephone cold callers claiming to be selling advertising on behalf of the ‘Crime Prevention Team’.

This follows a report from a Norfolk business who were cold called by a man claiming to be ‘writing an article on rogue traders’ and then offered advertising to ‘support this’.

This approach is typical of a publication scam where the scammer claims to be from a public body or supporting ‘good causes’ in order to sell advertising space. A demand for payment often follows, sometimes even if no agreement has been made.

Fortunately in this case the business owner queried the approach and the cold caller hung up.

We would remind businesses to ensure that all employees dealing with telephone contacts are aware of this type of scam cold calling.

If you or anyone within your business receives one of these calls do not give or confirm any information about your business, hang up and report it to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘Microsoft’ – 29 November 2018

We are warning businesses in Norfolk about emails circulating claiming to be from ‘Microsoft’.

The email, with the title ‘System Server Error: You Have Unresolved issues to Resolve Now’, says ‘Microsoft Administrator has discovered during a system check on your account [partial email address], That your 365 protection has not been properly turned on, for maximum protection for your organization and data you are hereby mandated to turn on your enhanced microsoft protection.’

The email then offers a links to apply fixes.

These emails are not from Microsoft and clicking on the link will most likely lead to attempts to infect your system with malicious software.

You can report suspicious emails received to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or by using their online reporting tool.

Information Alert – Business scams – 22 November 2018

Want to make sure you’re aware of different business scams?

Business Companion offers a wide range of advice on many common business scams and how to spot them.

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘Companies House’ – 31 October 2018

Trading Standards are warning businesses in Norfolk about emails circulating claiming to be from ‘Companies House’.

The email, with the title ‘Company Report’, says ‘We are aware that some of the charges you may have been expecting on September’s invoice are missing’ and that ‘It is expected that these charges will be shown on your next company report’

The email then offers a link to access ‘uploaded invoices/document related to your account’

These emails are not from Companies House and clicking on the link will attempt to download malicious software.

You can report suspicious emails received to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or by using their online reporting tool.

News Alert – Cyber Security Month 2018:  What is Cyber Security and why does it matter to your business? – 17 October 2018

October is Cyber Security Month 2018. With 98% of all UK businesses now operating online in one way or another and recent Government statistics showing 43% of all businesses and charities have experienced a cyber breach or attack in the past year, all businesses need to take basic steps to protect themselves.

Companies House have produced a blog giving good basic Cyber Security advice for business.  You can read it on the Companies House Blog.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls requesting sponsorship or donations – 4 October 2018

We are warning businesses to be aware of telephone cold calls requesting sponsorship or donations.

This follows reports from businesses along the Norfolk/Suffolk border who have received these calls.

In the first report a business based in Harleston, Norfolk, received a telephone cold call from someone claiming to be ‘Sergeant Mark Shepherd from Suffolk Police’ who asked to speak with the director.  The cold caller stated he was 'doing a campaign involving going into schools and talking about safety issues’ and requesting sponsorship.  When the call recipient declined, the cold caller hung up.

In the second report a business based in Hadleigh, Suffolk received a similar call from someone claiming to be a ‘Mark Shepherd'.  The cold caller stated he was from ‘the media department of the police’ and was asking for ‘charity donations’.  When challenged the cold caller stated he was a freelancer and provided an invalid phone number.

Later in the day a further cold call was received from a man to a sister business which shares the same address and was answered by the same member of staff.  The cold caller was challenged after he repeated his request to speak to a director and the cold caller then gave his name as ‘Steven Gerrard' before the call was ended.

Norfolk Police offer the following advice if you receive this type of call to your business:

  • Never give out personal information about your bank account to anyone over the phone
  • If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, ask for their identification number and police force. Hang up and call 101 using a different phone. If you can't use a different phone, wait at least five minutes before calling back. A genuine police officer will not mind waiting while you check
  • Police and banks will never ask you to give out personal details such as account numbers or PIN numbers
  • If you have given out information which could compromise your bank account security in any way, call your bank to cancel your cards as soon as possible

Anyone with concerns about telephone cold calls claiming to be from the police should contact Norfolk Police on the non-emergency number 101, or 999 if a crime is in progress. Alternatively, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Cold Calling Alert – Cold callers offering to sharpen and coat blades and tools – 27 September 2018

Businesses need to be aware of cold callers visiting premises offering to sharpen and coat tools and blades.

This follows an incident where a member of staff at a company was approached by individuals offering this service quoting a price ‘per unit’.  The cold caller also offered a free sample of the service which was accepted.

Following this an agreement for a number of items to be sharpened and coated was agreed.  Since then the company has been invoiced for a vastly inflated amount as the cold caller is stating the unit in the ‘per unit’ price relates to ‘per centimetre’ not ‘per item’.

Always be very wary of claims made by cold callers to your premises and never agree to services, buy items or for return visits if approached in this manner.

If you are looking to contract work out only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself, and always obtain a written quotation from them in advance of the work commencing.

If you receive a cold call to your business from someone offering to sharpen and coat tools or blades we would advise that you decline the offer, ask the cold caller to leave your premises and then report the incident to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

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