Since I posted about the new Police impersonators : http://www.adscams.co.uk/scam-national-crime-prevention-booklet the other day, I have been inundated with comments and email’s from others who have received the calls.
I have had permission to post the following, which we received via email (we have removed some information by request of the author)
Firstly just a quick mention of the fact that this site is a fantastic idea which I will recommend to as many people as possible! Thanks to stumbling across it yesterday on a Google search for “police advertising scam” I have narrowly averted being taken in by these bunch of… well you get the idea.
I am a self employed driving instructor in the Gateshead area and I received a call yesterday from “the Police press office”, the contents of which was much the same as the last post to this page in February relating to Police Handbook. They offered me advertising in the ‘[name removed]’ publication and assured me I would be the only driving instructor in this particular area edition, which obviously sounded attractive. For a half page ad they quoted me £346 inc VAT for 12 months and I agreed but insisted on some further info by mail before making any payment.
Literally 5 minutes later I received a call from a company called [name removed] who confirmed my order and informed me I was entering into a verbal contract by agreeing etc. They also told me that if I cancelled outside of the 7 day period, that there would be a charge.
I then did some research (found adscams.co.uk) and contacted the Northumbria Police press office who told me the Police do not sell advertising in their publications and that no one from their office had phoned me. They also said that although they can not comment on the publications of other forces, there is no way another police force in the UK would be focusing on my area.
Today I called [name removed] and cancelled my order and after being put on hold for 3 minutes whilst the operator checked with her manager if that was “ok” she then said “Ok you won’t receive any further paperwork from us” and hung up.
Approx half an hour later I received another call from the supposed Police press office asking why I had cancelled my order, at this time I asked him to call me back an hour later and I would explain as it was inconvenient to talk at the time. No further call came, which is a shame as I was looking forward to asking him which Police force he was from and why they were covering my area.
These people need to be stopped! I thought impersonating the Police was a crime?! The real Police say they are aware of these scams but seem to have bigger fish to fry unless you have actually lost money.
I will keep you posted if I get any invoices etc.
Note: I have removed the name of the company as it is the first time I have been given this compay’s name and I am passing it on to the police, Trading Standards and OFT.
THEIR NOW IMPERSONATING POLICE OFFICERS
I had a call today from a man who said :
” Hello sir I am calling on behalf of the Police”, “We are calling just to say thank you for supporting our latest campaign which I am pleased to say has been a success”
When I asked which campaign he said “The National Crime Prevention Booklet”, So I asked him the name of his company and he said “I am calling from The Police”, I asked his name he said “PC Dawson”, when I asked where exactly was he based he said “The Editorial Department of Cheshire Metropolitan Police”
I said that sounded odd and aksed him for his phone number and he said: 0845 556 7800
I then said If I call that number would I get through to him, he said “No you will get someone else” he then put the phone down.
I rang the number out of curiosity and its a made up number and does not exist. (23 Feb 2010)
SO BEWARE – They are now even pretending to be the police.
On 17 February 2010 I was very grateful to be asked to speak on the BBC 2 program Working Lunch. The show had recently been contacted by many viewers who had complained of being contacted by these companies.
This is great news for us, because we now have the BBC aware of these companies again. They have asked me to keep in touch which I will do, so please keep your reports coming in to me as I can bring these to the attention of the BBC and maybe we can get Watchdog involved at a later date.
There was some great advice from the show which I will be putting into a proper post later but to summarise:-
- Keep records of all your communications with the companies
- Ask the companies lots of questions about their company and publication
- If they say you agreed to advertise ask for proof
- If they threaten court action, Trading Standards have never seen ANY case go all the way to court
If you missed the show, you can see it here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8520364.stm
NEW SCAM ALERT !!
I had a call today from a guy who said “Can I speak to the Owner Please?”
He was calling “just to thank me for my support”, the Crime Prevention Booklet was a success and he wanted to “Check my details” because apparently in April I agreed to support them.
This scam is using the same scam script – claiming they spoke to me a few months ago and I kindly agreed to support them.
Apparently it is a “Crime Prevention Booklet”, unfortunately the caller hung up before I got chance to extract any more information. If anyone has any further information please let me know.
This week I have had several reports from concerned visitors who have had calls from verifiable registered charities with proper charity registration numbers and website’s; that are cold calling but using the same “scam script”.
Usually supporting “disabled kiddies” and want you to pay for a “little mention” in their “booklet”.
One of our visitors emailed us today to detail a scam call she got, as follows:-
I had a call today to my mobile, the number was “blocked” and the voice on the other end was clearly from Liverpool with a deep scouse accent.
The usual introduction “Hi there, my name is Paul and I spoke to you back last year and at the time you said unfortunatly you wasnt in a position to help us but you very kindly said you would the next time around”
“We are now producing a KIDS ACTIVITY BOOK for disabled children in your area and we are just looking for a small donation from yourself and in return we will include a short mention about your company in the book”
“As you know, all proceeds will be donated to local charities of disabled children in your area”
“Can I put you down for a credit card size advert or a smaller mention?”
My next question was – What company are you from?” – The reply was very vague and he said “community”, when I asked is that the name of your company he said YES !! (Strange name)
I told him that I wasnt in a position to help and I dont remember the call but he was VERY PUSHY and wouldnt go away. In the past callers like this would normally put the phone down and call the next victim but not this guy.
He said the publication was going to print and he was desperate to sell his last few spaces. He didnt want to dissapoint “the little kiddies” and our contribution would go a long way.
Still a NO from me
“ok as its you, I can do the insert for £50 with no vat”! NO, “ok what If I do it for £40?” NO,”£60 and I will give you a half page”
“OK, Il be honest with you – I get £10 commission for every one I sell and I need to meet my quota for the week or I will get fired – Can you help me out please?”
“You should come and work for us, your good at this!”
No thanks – Caller ends call.
As you can see, he took some talking out of and he was very pushy, he wasnt agressive or nasty but very smarmy and determined.
The school books scam has been around for years and seems to be making a comeback.
The scam starts when you receive a phone call from someone “thanking you” for supporting their cause and “agreeing” to advertise in a school booklet that will be distributed through local schools “of your choice”.
They claim you agreed to advertise and support them some months ago and the booklets “are now ready”.
This is of course a scam and they are lying to you, simply tell them you dont ever recall agreeing to this and that you are not interested. If they threaten legal action (very rare they normally just put the phone down) let them take you – every case we have ever heard of from visitors to this website has been thrown out of court.
I was wondering if you can help not only spread the word about a scam going on and stop people getting ripped off, but also help in catching and bringing the perpetrators to justice.
About 18 months ago a company called AdPlaz TV, based in Blackpool, were phoning alternative therapists up across the country selling advertising space on Plasma TV systems being installed in local hospitals. The rates were good and in theory you had a captive audience outside outpatients or in A&E. It was a con, there were no Plasma screens and eventually the company went into liquidation and stopped trading…having made thousands on selling advertising that was never going to be.
I admit, I was conned and lost £600.00, but had to put it down to experience.
Then some 8 months ago I was phoned by a company with the same selling techniques from Blackpool again, claiming to sell advertising on the back of appointment cards for the local Dr’s Surgery. Having been once bitten and still smarting from the TV escapade I declined. When I thought about it in slow time, I realised the likely hood of a GPs surgery allowing a Hypnotherapist to advertise on their appointment cards was unlikely as it would appear to be endorsing the therapist and they didn’t even know me. So I checked….no such cards were being printed. Course I was now cross cos I couldn’t remember the name of the company to report them.
Then last week I had a call from a woman with a Blackpool accent claiming to be phoning from Ascot Medical Centre and offering cheap advertising on Plasma TV screens….I was driving so couldn’t write anything down, but I challenged her about who the parent company was she hung up. I phoned Ascot Medical Centre who are not having any such TVs installed.
It is quite clear this is the same company reformed, they are going round using yellow pages and hitting time and time again.
A: we need to warn as many as possible not to get caught up in it
B: If anyone does get a similar call if they can try and gently get the company name and details (the phone always comes through as an anonymous call) and gets the details to the local police, and try and get this charade stopped once and for all.
Any information that can be gleaned can and should be passed to the local police who will treat it as fraud.
After many years of running this website as a plain old html website and after numerous requests from visitors I have decided to relaunch ADSCAMS as a blog.
This will hopefully encourage comments and more frequent updates from myself and site visitors who regularly contact me via email.