Allan Dixon professes to be an avid reader of this column, which is possibly why alarm bells rang when the latest scam landed on the doormat of his business, The Charing Stores, Charing, Kent.
He forwarded the lot to me and it is a bit of a masterpiece of deception. The letter is from UK Data Control, Business & Commerce and it looks like a proper letter (but when you google its website all sorts of official warnings crop up).
The letter asks Allan to update his records with his VAT registration number. It says: “The basic entry and the update is free of charge.”
But reading the bit at the end Allan could see that what the scammers were trying to do was to get the business to sign up to paying £790 per year for three years’ inclusion on the UK-Data Control portal.
The letter came from Bristol, but the return envelope was addressed to Hamburg. This rang a bell so I consulted my ‘scam’ file (biggest file I have). And there it was, back in March, when I last wrote about it, headed ‘Achtung! It’s an invasion’. I labelled it ‘gobbledygook’ and perhaps these Hamburgers took note because the letter Allan received looks a lot more streamlined.