‘Be on guard for dubious letters from international firms’, Lincolnshire Trading Standards has warned after a Boston company was fleeced by an unwanted subscription letter.
The warning was issued alongside a reminder to ‘read the small print’ on the back of an unfortunate case in Brothertoft.
The unnamed business received a letter from a German firm headed “Publication of Companies and VAT Registration Numbers in the UK Corporate Portal.”
The letter asked them to confirm their VAT details, sign and return the form which they did, believing this to be some form of legal requirement.
They had in fact agreed to the publication of their company’s data to be listed on the Corporate Portal website and placed an order for a three-year contract at a cost of £797 per year.
Despite several demands for payment, the business hasn’t paid and is now receiving demands for payment from a debt collection company in the Czech Republic.
Senior Trading Standards Officer Angela Kane said: “Companies in Lincolnshire should always be on their guard when dealing with this type of communication.
“It is important to know that a legitimate Government office or department would never ask for personal details or insist on urgent action.
“Anyone who receives this type of letter or email, should be aware that it is not from an official source and they are not obliged to provide any information to the company.”