Another tranche of DON’T get caught out advice from our friends at SCC’s trading standards team.




Free Trials 
We get a consistent number of enquiries and referrals regarding ‘Free Trials’ 
Please read all the terms and conditions before signing up to anything as the way it seems to work is that you do get an initial free product but you have to pay the postage. 
In doing this the company has your card details and has signed you up to a commitment to receive further goods often at an inflated cost. 
If you don’t want these then you have 14 days to cancel. 
Many residents are not realising this has happened until a large amount of money has left their bank account! 

Request of your VAT number 
We have been informed by a local company that they received a letter from Germany requesting their VAT number due to new regulations. We have heard of this before when the trader has supplied this and then been charged in excess of £700. Our advise was that in this instance oit had the hallmarks of a scam and to either ignore the request or check it our with HMRC. 

Advertisement in a magazine you’ve never heard of! 
A local school has reported to us that they received an unsolicited telephone call from a crime prevention magazine offering them space for an advertisement. 
This type of scam has variations and may say that they are affiliated with an emergency service or charity and may say that you have advertised with them before or that someone else has agreed to the advert and that they are simply calling to confirm the details. The magazine may then send an invoice threatening legal action if payment is not made. 
Please do your research before agreeing to anything, keep copies of any paperwork, read the small-print and don’t be pressured into paying for services you haven’t agreed to. 
It may be a good idea to have a limited number of employees that can approve purchasing and ordering! 
Remember that it is possible to make a legally binding contract over the phone! 

Scammers contacting victims using the Action Fraud name 
We are aware of scammers contacting previous victims of fraud purporting to be from Action Fraud 
Action Fraud’s contact centre has been made aware of incidents whereby scammers have been contacting previous victims of fraud by phone/letter purporting to be from Action Fraud. 

The fraudsters have been using the surname “Thomas” and their old logo. They claim to victims that the suspect related in their case has been caught and if payment is made to Western Union then the monies lost could be returned. 

Action Fraud do not investigate crime – they are a reporting centre and pass your reports onto the police.   They are not able to claim back money any victim has lost to fraud. 
The official way to report fraud to them is online via: or by calling 0300 123 2040. 
 Emails from them will always end in or – any variations should be treated as suspicious. 

If you want to verify any correspondence you believe may be fraudulent, please contact Action Fraud by emailing or by calling 0300 123 2040. 


About Roger Nield MBE

Safety Director for the SMPL Organisation and supporting our Vulnerable Veterans Programme.
This entry was posted in Business's, Crime prevention, Runnymede Residents, Surrey County Council and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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