Monday, 29 June 2015

Businesses warned over 'data' scam

Businesses in North Ayrshire are being warned to ignore any letters claiming to be from an organisation calling itself ‘UK Data Control Scotland’.

North Ayrshire Council’s Trading Standards department has issued the warning after a number of local businesses contacted them regarding letters that looked as if they were from a government department and which instructed the companies to complete a form providing their VAT (Value Added Tax) registration number in order that a ‘UK Data-Control Portal’ could be updated.

Close examination of the letter revealed the company behind its issue has an address in Hamburg, Germany and that a fee of £790, payable for a minimum of three years, would be incurred.

There is no government department called ‘UK Data Control Scotland’ nor is there an official ‘UK Data-Control Portal’.

Councillor Marie Burns, North Ayrshire Council’s SNP Cabinet Member for Economy and Employment, said, “We are concerned that local businesses may believe the letter to be from an official government source, which is not the case.

“If businesses sign and return the form to confirm their details are correct they could end up being tied into a contract and liable for high costs.

“Our Trading Standards Team has had several enquiries from businesses about this and has advised them that they are not obliged to provide any information to this company.”

Any local business concerned about unsolicited letters, emails or phone calls should telephone Trading Standards on 01294 324100 and ask for Business Advice.

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