Businesses urged to ignore cold callers

SMALL businesses were today urged to hang up on cold callers selling bogus advertising, often in publications they claim support emergency services or charities.

SMALL businesses were today urged to hang up on cold callers selling bogus advertising, often in publications they claim support emergency services or charities.

The warning comes after a spate of calls to businesses in the county in recent weeks, prompting hundreds of calls to trading standards services across the country.

Trading standards officers warn of false claims made to businesses about advertising space and demands for payment when no such agreements have been entered into.

James Goold, of James Goold Heating and Plumbing, Stowmarket, said: "It is disgusting how these companies operate.

“The company who contacted us said that some of the money we paid for advertising would benefit a children's charity.

"Even though we wrote to these people saying we didn't want to take up their offer we still received an invoice.

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“Thankfully, we did not part with any money, but I'm sure other people are pressurised into paying the bill.

“The reality is that these crooks are unlikely to give a single penny to charities.

“The only people who benefit are the people running the scam. I would recommend any company who gets a similar letter or phone call to do nothing other than say no and find another way to donate money to charity."

A Suffolk County Council trading standards spokesman said: "Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to these types of unfair business practice.

“We advise all businesses to be wary and not to be pressured or tricked into agreeing to advertising you don't want or into paying for something you haven't requested."

For information on this or any other scam contact the dedicated business support advice line on 01473 581694.

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