I have twice featured the ‘gobbledygook’ Vat registration scam from Hamburg - so here’s for the hat trick. Now it is picking on Scotland. Keep an eye out for it because it could lead to demands for £790 a year if you happen to sign it and send it back. This time it is headed UK - Data Control.

Scott Preston, Tagon Stores, Voe, Shetland, was the first to alert me. He says: “Luckily for me I have an eye for such crap, having worked in insurance claims, so I know to check the small print. I particularly enjoyed the secondary terms and conditions on the reverse which state that the client agrees any future correspondence may be in English OR German. Not sure when I’ve ever had the necessity to use my high school German, but I gave it a bash using their Freepost envelope and returning to them a list of English to German translations of swearwords.

“Furthermore,” he added, “I included a copy of my own special terms and conditions of reply which made them subject to a ‘reply fee’ of £790+Vat and a ‘leave me alone’ charge of £1,000 (Vat exempt). Oh the world of retail is fun!”

Just as I was enjoying Scott’s response, I got an email from Izzi Husenne, Izzi’s News, Coatbridge, Lanarkshire. He writes: “Having read your story about the Vat numbers scam I thought it was purely English traders being targeted, but a demand landed on my desk. But wait for it… addressed to the previous late owner of my business, who unfortunately passed some nine years previously. Needless to say, I did not reply, but I did want to thank you and your correspondent Jayesh Patel (Feb 13 issue) for the heads-up.”

German efficiency eh?