Linda Dance faxed me from her store, Tatsfield Post Office near Westerham in Kent, with yet another variation on the old publishing scam. It involved two women callers. The first one phoned a few months ago asking if she would like her name to go on the back of some anti-bullying books they were sending out to schools.

"I said okay," says Linda, "then someone else later phoned back asking me which school I wanted the books to go to. I said my local school."

A few questions later and Linda's suspicions were aroused. "I said 'Wait a minute, this isn't going to cost me any money is it?' 'Yes', she said, '£800-plus'. I said that I hadn't agreed to this and she said I had and that they had me on tape. I said no, I hadn't and she said too late, the invoice is in the post. I said tough! She hung up on me and so far I have never received an invoice."

Trading Standards told Linda that there were many such scams around. I have, in fact, a whole file devoted to rogue publishers. Three years ago the DTI, as it was then, was winding up these companies at the rate of about one a month - drugs awareness, emergency services support and children's charities were among the favourite subjects.

A good point to remember -

if someone says they have your verbal agreement on tape to sponsor their bogus publications, then they must make that whole tape available should it ever come to court where, I'm sure, their bullying tactics will enlighten the magistrates no end.