Beware of trading scams and save money

SUFFOLK firms are being targeted in a fresh round of business scams, the county's trading standards warned today. Peter Monk, member of Suffolk County Council's executive committee, said: "The same old scams have resurfaced again but this time with a new twist.

SUFFOLK firms are being targeted in a fresh round of business scams, the county's trading standards warned today.

Peter Monk, member of Suffolk County Council's executive committee, said: "The same old scams have resurfaced again but this time with a new twist. We're seeing more and more directed through the internet, one of the quickest ways to the heart of local businesses.

"Remember you should only be paying for what you order – not just because a company is touting for trade. Keep an eye out for sharp practices, shop around and don't be pressurised into signing up for anything you don't want. If you are considering signing a contract, read the small print first and if in doubt call Trading Standards."

Latest scams being reported to the Trading Standards Advice Line are:


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Data Registration – watch out for letters seeking to exploit the new Data Protection Act (1998), which says that every organisation processing personal data must register with the Government's Data Protection Commissioner.

The cost of registering under the official body is £35, but some rogue companies are sending out letters charging up to £110 to do this. Check the official website at www.dpr.gov.uk

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Directory entries – Businesses are telephoned asking them to place an advert or confirm a listing in a European business or internet directory. Even if they do not take out any advertising space they are still faced with a hefty invoice for the advert. It is against the law to invoice businesses for these unsolicited directory entries.

Internet domain registration - this scam involves businesses being listed without consent on a domain registration website. They are then sent an 'invoice' for £225.60 for one year's registration on the site. It's not an invoice but just a marketing ploy and firms will not lose their domain name if they fail to pay.

Any business which suspects it has been targeted by any of these scams, should call the Trading Standards Advice Line to inform trading standards on 01473 584358 or email enquiries@tradstan.suffolkcc.gov.uk

Weblink: www.suffolkcc.gov.uk

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