Have I told you that my 'scam' file is now second-biggest in my filing cabinet? Sadly, 'crime/security' is still my biggest file. Put the two together and I would need help in lifting them.

My thanks to Anne McPhillips, who trades as A McPhillips in Cumbria, for a reminder that the publishing scams are still active. For those who haven't experienced these calls, you get someone on the other end of the line 'reminding' you about the verbal agreement you (or staff) gave a couple of months ago to sponsor the worthy cause of books for schools warning kids of various dangers.

"When I got this call from someone saying he had phoned last September about sponsoring a book for safety in schools, I said sorry, I fell for the drugs awareness scam a few months ago," says Anne.

"Last time it was £199 to sponsor and it was a nice looking glossy book - but the school I nominated never got any copies."