Business scam alerts

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					How can business scam alerts help my business?
We use the business scam alert system to send you information about new
scams, and new variations on old scams. We explain how to avoid scams
and how to report them.

    Click here to receive business scam alerts by email.

The most recent scam alerts are:

Ban on Tobacco Sales from Vending Machines – 30 September 2011

Please be aware that from 1 October 2011 there will be a ban on tobacco
products sold from vending machines in England.

It will also be against the law to display advertisements or pictures for tobacco
on vending machines.

We have produced a Business Advice fact sheet which you can find here.
Further information can also be found at

Mobile Phone Scam Messages – 14 September 2011

Norfolk County Council Trading Standards are warning Mobile Phone owners
to be wary of text messages offering compensation for accidents or to write off
These messages are often along the lines of:

      „struggling due to current economic conditions? Reply debt to book a
       free appointment‟
      „Our records indicate you may be entitled to 3750 pounds for the
       accident you had. To claim for free reply YES to this message. To opt
       out text STOP‟

These text messages are sent randomly, so many of the mobile phone users
that receive them may not be in debt or have had an accident.

Trading Standards advise never to respond to unsolicited text messages such
as these. Even responding „STOP‟ to try to opt out of the messages can
confirm to the sender that your phone number is a working number, also
never to give out personal details in response to unsolicited text messages.

If you wish to report a scam or obtain further advice please contact Consumer
Direct via their online form or to Action Fraud via their online fraud reporting
Fraudulent Card Payments – 26 August 2011

Norfolk County Council Trading Standards Service has been contacted by a
local butcher who found that he has been the victim of a scam and wants to
warn other businesses. He received a phone call from someone who said
they had been let down regarding meat for a wedding and placed a large
order with the butcher. They paid over £700 with a card over the phone and
the meat was collected by a courier. The business later found that the
payment had been declined as the card had been reported stolen or it had
been cloned.

Our advice is that businesses should be careful if they are contacted like this.

Loan Scams - 23 August 2011

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is warning people to steer clear of scam loan
companies who take upfront fees but fail to provide credit or offer clearly
unsuitable credit alternatives. For more details see:

Safety Warning – Potentially dangerous giant lighters – 12 August 2011

Norfolk County Council Trading Standards are warning businesses about
potentially dangerous giant lighters after officers seized a batch from two
shops in the Norwich area.

A report on the seizure can be read here on the EDP website.

Similar items to these have been reported by Hampshire Trading Standards
where it was reported that a teenage boy received burns to his hands after
trying to light candles with a giant lighter.

If anyone has any concerns with regard to these lighters please contact
Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 or via their online reporting form

Fake PayPal Emails – 13 July 2011

Norfolk County Council Trading Standards are warning businesses that fake
emails are circulating claiming to be from PayPal.
The email states:

   Dear valued PayPaI Customer,

   We need your help resolving an issue with your account. To give us time
   to work together on this, we‟ve temporarily limited what you can do with
   your account until the issue is resolved.

   What‟s the problem?
   We noticed some unusual activity on the credit card linked to your
   PayPaI« account.

   Case ID Number: PP-001-212-055-698

   How you can help

   It‟s usually pretty easy to take care of things like this. Most of the time, we
   just need a little more information about your account.

   To help us with this and to find out what you can and can‟t do with your
   account until the issue is resolved, please proceed to our secure webform
   by clicking here.



If you click on the link you will be taken to a fake PayPal website at:

The website URL does not mention PayPal and when it opens a number of
the tabs on the screen do not work.

If you receive emails like this do not respond and do not hand over any
PayPal, personal or bank details. You can forward these emails directly to
PayPal at

More information about this scam can be seen on PayPal‟s website here.

If you wish to report a scam or obtain further advice please contact the
Consumer Direct via their online form

Bogus Invoices purporting to come from OHIM, the European Trade
Mark Agency – 8 July 2011

Please see the extract from the OHIM website


Misleading requests for payment relating to information/trade mark “registers”
and entries to directories

Users in Europe are receiving an increasing amount of unsolicited mail from
companies requesting payment for trade mark and design services such as
publication, registration or entry in business directories.
A list of letters from firms or registers, which users have complained are
misleading, is published below for your information. Please note that these
services are not connected with any official trade mark or design registration
services provided by public bodies within the European Union such as OHIM.

If you receive a letter or invoice please check carefully what is being offered to
you, and its source. Please note that the OHIM never sends invoices to
users or letters requesting direct payment for services.

If you have any doubt or detect any new case, please check with your legal
advisors or contact us at +34 96 513 9100 or by e-mail at

We include below some sample letters from firms or registers, which have
nothing to do with OHIM's registers or official publications.

Commercial Centre for Industry and Trade
(Wirtschaftszentrale für Industri und Gewerbe AG)

P.O. Box 2116
CH-8033 Zürich


17-19 Fenwick Street
L2 7LS
United Kingdom

CPTD - Central Patent & Trademak Database
Companies Directory of Commerce, Trade and

Bunge Milling, Inc.
11720 Borman Drive
St. Louis,
State: Missouri Missouri 63146-1000
United States

C.R.P. S.L. International Publication

Apt 572, 03710 Calpe(Alicante), Spain
ECTMF - European Communities Trademark Filing

Suite - Imperial Court
Exchange Street East
Liverpool l2 3A8
United Kingdom


Rosenstraße 2
10178 Berlin

Brussel, EU Parliament

Square de Meeus 38/40
1000 Brussells

European Patent Agency

Community Trade Marks
Leicester Square

European Trade marks and Designs
Register Community Trade marks

European Trademark organisation S.A.
Brussells, EU Parliament

Square de Meeus 37 - 4th Floor
1000 Brussells
Register Community Trade marks

Community trad marks and designs limited
7 Arlington gardes

FIPTR - Federated institute for Patent & Trademark

6574 North State Road 7, Suite 337
Coconut Creek, FL 33076

GAIA almanch Ltd

PO Box 142
8501 Pápa

I.B.F.T.P.R - International Bureau for Federated
Tradmark & Patent Register, LLC

6650 Rivers Avenue
Charleston SC, 29406 USA

IBIP - Internationa Bureau for Intellectual Property,

975 Bacons Bridge Rd, #214, Unit 148
Summerville SC 29485, USA

Intellectual Property Agency Ltd.

Rue des Colonies 11
1000 Brussells
Register Community Trademarks

1156 Bowman Rd, #200
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

OHMI Office for International registration

Community trad marks and designs limited
7 Arlington gardes

Patent Trademark Register
Register of International Patents

P.O. Box 26
A-1143 Vienna

TM Worldwide Lp.

H-9601, Sarvar, PO-Box 11


PO Box 201
9701 Szombathely


B.P. 73 A-1190 Wien
WBIP - World Bureau Intellectual Property Inc.

1000 North west street. Suite 1200
DE 19801 USA

WDTP - Worldwide Database of Trademarks and

s.r.o. 188/37
CZ-1300 Praha
Czech Republic

Globex World Organistaion Intellectual Property Ltd.

2-4 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3NT
United Kingdom

HMRC Tax Rebate – 8 July 2011

Norfolk County Council Trading Standards is publicising the following warning
released by Her Majesties Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

HMRC would not inform customers of a tax rebate via email or phone call.

With regard to email, the recipient should not visit any website contained
within that email.

To view examples tax rebate phishing emails and a list of fake email
addresses used visit

Consumers should never give personal information to anyone requesting
them in this way.

Computer Fault Scam – 5 July 2011

Norfolk County Council Trading Standards are again reminding businesses to
be aware that the Computer Fault Scam we issued alerts about on 22 March
and 12 May is continuing to target people.

The scam starts with a phone call from individuals who claim to work for
computer software companies. The caller advises that there is a problem with
the user‟s computer and that the caller can help fix it. The caller may ask the
user to open a particular Internet link, which indicates that the computer has a
number of errors. Before „correcting‟ the errors remotely, the caller requests
an upfront fee. The aim is to con money out of you or collect identity and bank
details. If these companies do not succeed to obtain any information out of
you on the first contact they are known to try calling again on several

One new variation involves consumers being told their PC has been making
malicious calls in an attempt to get you to agree to allow them access to your

Scams Awareness Month Update – 5 July 2011

Norfolk County Council Trading Standards has issued a warning to residents
on scams and the different approaches by scammers; together with an update
on Scams Awareness Month held in February. Click here to read our press

Business Advertising – 5 July 2011

Norfolk County Council Trading Standards Service is again issuing warnings
to businesses about being contacted by publishing organisations selling
advertising space. These approaches generally take the course of an
unsolicited telephone call, email or fax to the business with the view of selling
advertising space in a publication, often claiming to support „good causes‟,
such as the emergency services in the local area.
A demand for payment then follows, sometimes even if no agreement has
been made.

The advice is not to make any payment unless you have agreed to the
advertising and to check any demand for payment carefully. Where
agreements have been made and the business feels they have been misled
over the terms of the advertisement and they require further advice, please
contact Trading Standards on 0344 800 8013 or email

Further information about this topic can be found in our „Publishing Scams‟
advice fact sheet.

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