News International. We all know what that's all about. Top and bottom of the news: ie The Times and The Sun. They think the people should be told, whether it's the PM's dodgy handwriting, or the real identity of Belle de Jour. 

At least, that's what they are always telling us. Funny, though, when it comes to fraudulent vouchers for 'free' copies of The Times being 'rampant' (I'm borrowing a Sun word here), News International doesn't give a fig about letting retailers know. I am, of course, assuming this. I cannot do otherwise because the News International spokesman won't return my calls.

I was alerted to the fraud by Chris Golding, who runs five stores in Surrey. Chris writes: "News International has rejected more than £900-worth of vouchers we have submitted because they claim they are fakes. As far as I am aware, our store manager and staff acted in good faith, accepted the vouchers from bona fide customers, and had no reason to believe that the vouchers were fakes.

"If there is no way of getting our money back, then please warn other retailers about this problem."

They sent him examples of fake vouchers that he has emailed to me, but neither of us is any the wiser. He was told that the 'original' fakes, as it were, are with the police.

Trouble with vouchers is that they are as good as cash providing all you want to purchase is The Times. As Chris adds: "There is no metallic strip to check, no training offered on how to spot fakes. What should retailers do? Refuse vouchers? Is compensation possible?"

All very good questions which remain unanswered. The woman at NI whose name was at the bottom of the comp slip which came with the fake samples, said, yes, it is widespread. She also promised twice to ask the press officer (whom she would not name) to ring me before my Friday deadline.

So, how widespread? Has this happened to you?