Back in May 2012, we posted a blog detailing the modus operandi of the UK Business Directory scam as a result of hearing from of a number of small businesses that were being asked to pay a sum of money for services they had never taken under the threat of county court judgements and bailiffs.
This is a long standing scam, but nevertheless we were shocked by the response to our blog, which has received over 7,000 views and more than 100 comments from distressed victims from across the country. This weekend, national newspaper The Sunday Express picked up the story, estimating the cost of the attacks to its victims had reached £50 million.
Scams like this prey on the vulnerability of small businesses. Of the scam, Susan Hallam, CEO of Hallam and the author of the original blog post, said – “I have been shocked by the widespread effects of this scam. Small business owners have been targeted by this group who terrify them with threats of County Court Judgements (CCJs) and bailiffs. But the reality is that they are nothing but scammers and it is only by raising awareness of the issue and working together than we stand any chance of stopping them.
I have yet to see any official groups set up or investigations put into motion to end these attacks but I hope that our coverage will bring the issue to the attention of those who can help us.”
At the very least, by sharing our experiences, we can protect other business owners from succumbing to the attacks. In a case study mentioned in our blog, a victim said – “I was under extreme pressure and I was in a terrible mental state. I felt physically sick and was in fear that my business would be ruined.” The victim, who asked to remain anonymous, paid £5,000 to the group.
For more details of the scam and advice on what to do if you’re targeted, take a look at our blog UK Business Directory Scam.