School Books Scam

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.

262 thoughts on “School Books Scam”

  1. New scam website http://www.ttcampaign.org.uk campaign to stop bullying in schools.
    I was just about to pay £200 to the so called Toubled Teens Campaign for sending 30 books about bullying to my local school, they even said if I paid by credit card I would get a 20% discount, which I am glad I did not agree to, I have now read all of the info above and realise what an idiot I was for falling for the scam. will be interseting to here what they say when they phone back.

  2. Had a call last week from TCC (Troubled Teen Campaign) wha are again Data Northern Ltd. Again its a "Teen Safety Booklets" promoting (ironically)  Bullying awareness :-)
    Said I owed them £200.00 but could save 10% if I paid them over the phone now.  I declined :-)
    Today had invoice through the post, did a bit of searching as I wasn't convinced and found this forum.  Have had a nice chat with my local trading standards who searched the national database and said yes Stockport Trading standards were aware and were pursuing the company involeved. I've sent copies of all correspondence and eagerly await TTC's next call :-)

  3. Just had a call from TIB claiming that she called me on 20th January and I had confirmed I would spend £190 to sponsor books for school and would I like to say which school to send them to.  I said I have not commited to this and please give me proof.  she said she has verbal proof.  I said well as the 20th January was a Sunday and I do not work on Sunday it was impossible for me to have spoken to her.  This is a horrid scam please take care.  They are very pushy.

  4. Bloody rip offs I tried to explain to bt that I needed the last number who called me cause it was withheld and that I believed it was a scam and I would like to pass the number over to the police but surprise surprise they couldn't give the number IDIOTS their business is telephone calls and numbers and they seemed stumped I was half asleep when the sad little mug called saying I had agreed like most on here months ago and I listened to the waffle untill he asked me to pay and then he said I told him before that I wa the person who felt with pay nets that's when I clued on I told him he was a liar as I would never say that arrrrgggghhh I would love to be face to face with him I would do some damage cause he was a cheeky bell end my fingers are crossed I hope they call back cause I will play along I will get an address and I think I'll go for a drive with my baseball bat 

  5. Had a call from Claire Smith (07592017492) from "Safety Support" about an anti-bullying program all alone the lines of thanks for support 6 months ago etc etc etc.  BE WARNED!

  6. Been called today by a lady from TIB insisting that I had agreed to supporting an adveritising booklet going into schools. She said the books were now ready and which schools did I want them to go into.  Obviously I told her I had never agreed to such sponsorship and she insited I had verbally and I would be invoice £148.00 for the pleasure.  When questioned on a Purchase Order number or confimation of agreement by email or in writing she proceeded to tell me they dont do that as I hadnt agreed a three year sponsorship!!!! On pushing and insisiting further that I had agreed when I confirmed that she had used the wrong name for me even though we had apparently spoken a number of times and there was no way we had agreed as it wasnt confirmed and our avertising budget had been spent anyway she hung up.  Beware this operator is very very slick and convincing – just hang up

  7. Yep, definitely still trying this one. We just had a woman phone in and was adamant that we'd previously agreed to fund books for a drugs awareness campaign in schools.

  8. I have had a call from The Teenage Information Burueau today asking for £100 that I allegedly promised them as " sponsorship" back in January. I told them I had no recollection of their previous calls and when they kept insisting that I give them an address to send an invoice to or gave them my card details I asked to speak to their Managing Director. No other person was available to speak to me other than the very young lady who constantly asked me for the address or my bank details.

    When I said " I think this operation is a scam and would report it to the police" the phone went dead.

    The number they call from is blocked so you cannot call them back.

    Unless you have a signed contract committing to a payment ( consideration ) on satisfactory completion of the term and conditions you have initially agreed upon you are under no obligation to these people.Contact the Office of Fair Trading because I feel these people may also be breaking the Data Protection Act.

     

  9. I just had a call about a children's road safety booklet, they were thanking me for agreeing to advertise! Never heard of them! Told them we don't advertise and they hung up! Can't remember name of the company.

  10. Hi  there is another one doing the rounds Safety Support – Guess where Stockport!!! Same old thing how do they sleep at night – my partner was made redundant out of work for 15 months has put all the rest of his savings in running a small buisness , as there is no work in construction, and they want to rip of  a 60 year old Guy  who works so hard for so little –  I think we all no who the victims of bulling are in this case .   if Safety Support – they just want to rip you off – and waste a lot of time for trading standards – they need to be fined a high amount to stop this practice where they keep setting up under differing names –

     

  11. They're still at it!  Had a call last Monday with the now familiar (since I have read the posts on this site) scam. Manchester accent, £189 for drug awareness books for school of my choice; "they've been printed, I owe them the money."  Even had the cheek to suggest I pay an extra £30 to cover postage! Woman who called passed me over to her 'supervisor' who was assertive and then more aggressive when I said I had never agreed to anything and certainly wouldn't be giving them a penny, and if she persisted that I would be contacting my solicitor, whereupon she shouted "Goodbye" at the top of her voice and rang off. 

  12. Had the lovely northern girl Samantha call yesterday thanking me for our conversation in january and that the booklets for schools are ready and would I like to name the school of my choice…. excuse me…? Oh, yes, sir we spoke and you agreed to pay £189.00 for the advert… excuse me…? We get this all the time sir, that is why we record all conversations, I even remember speaking to you myself… excuse me? Well, sir, my supervisor will be calling you in the next five minutes with the recording… Yeahhhhhh ok…..

    What a ridiculous scam, how easy it would be for someone to get worried and make a payment over the phone. Disgusting immoral people.

  13. Have received phone call from "The Owl House" (0161 number aswell !!) quoting exactly as has been reported before ie "you offered your help regarding safety booklets in schools etc etc. We have now received an invoice for £99

    and a "certificate" saying we have sponsored a local school – (spelt wrongly btw) – . The envelope had no stamp! Trading standards have been informed. 

  14. The Owl House in Lancashire is the same scam.  They said my brother had agreed to sponsor a school of his choice…. he said he couldn't remember and asked for an invoice.  We recieved it along with a laminated certificate (with the school spelt wrong on it) and letter, also they had forgotten to put the stamp on it £1.69 was charged.  After contacting the Trading Standards they had heard of the scam as The Owl House Northern, and asked us to send it all paper work to them.  We are now waiting for the threatening phone calls to start and the will be informed that the phone call is being taped and our solicitor is looking forward to seeing them in court"!!!!!!!

  15. We had a call today from T.I.B informing us the books are now ready for distribution to schools of our choice. They said we had agreed to this some months ago. We have been getting regular calls similar to this for 10 years or so from;

    Metro Line, 999 Services, Crime Prevention Office, Safety Foundation, Police Diary, Business Directory, Child Care, Fire service.

    Our policy is No advertising agreements over the phone.

    I was caught some years ago, I was allocated a code word so no one else could say I had promised, guess what three companies rang up and gave me the same code word. Done three times.  

     

     

     

  16. We live on the Isle of Lewis.  My wife, who is not well, had to cover for me in the shop whilst I was on the mainland for a day.  Whilst in the shop she had a call from a company called 'Safety Support' thanking her for her sponsorship of the antibullying campaign on the Isle of Lewis.  When she said she could not recollect  the conversation they said they had had three telephone calls with her all of which were recorded!  My wife who would believe anyone about anything gracefullly said she was sorry she couldn't remember but could the company put something in writing.  Two days later I receive an invoice for £399 and a very poorly produced leaflet with our name and address printed on the inside cover.  I phoned the company and told them they weren't getting anything from us as I dealt with all the advertising and I knew I had never heard of this company or ordered any advertising to do with antibullying.  The woman offered to play me a recording of the conversation with my wife.  I told her I wanted all four recordings posted to me and a copy of the original written order. I am reporting them to Trading Standards.  This is a schocker, lying about previous phonecalls, what a bunch of scumbags!

  17. Hi everyone- I work for BBC Radio 4's consumer programme You and Yours. I've been contacted by people complaining about Educational Media Ltd – I wondered if anyone else had experience with them or any other company that works similarly? I'd like to run a story on it. If you do have time to give me some info pls send me a message at lydia.thomas1@bbc.co.uk

  18. THE OWL HOUSE "child saftey" usual patter -pick the the school blah blah, Got the invoice with their bank details and address going to see if the the police will do anything? NOT a prayer of getting one pence out of us but i'm going to take it further just to make life difficult for them. Money is hard earned in todays climate, get a real job instead of going to such lenghts to cheat hard working individuals and companies,

  19. I fell for a bullying one in 2010 when they actually sent me the said "booklet" which was terrible. I ended up complaining and they reduced the fee as i was obligated to pay and they would take me to court!!! STUPID ME… it was a scam they never distrubited any bookletts and after numerous calls to fake numbers i finally googled the company info to find the man in charge is from birmingham and has been to prison for this scam several times. Over the last 3 years i have been called over & over & OVER by them using different company names & different locations . The last time was today by a manchester number 01614434210. Im furious that more cant be done to protect us small business owners. We are not for profit and have no money for advertising so our money is precious Im so mad that i parted with £150 and they are still trying to get me again….. I dont know how the telesales crew can sleep at night knowing they are trying to sell a scam!

  20. Just been called by TIB, Joanne, same old story – called previously, agreed to advertise blah, blah, blah… Asked for details of their company and told them i was reporting them to the DTI.  She quickly hung up.   THIS IS A FRAUD

  21. Another call from Data Northern, we fell for this in 2009, never again. Havent receieved an invoice and the material in them is so graphic and inappropriate as an educational tool.  The lady i spoke with could barely string a sentence together, and had her TV blasting in the back ground.  They call to "thank you" for your support and tell you youve committed to 3 publicatiuons over the 3 school terms. Then another call saying that theyre calling to say that they7 will cancel the last of our 5 years support, but we still just have year 4 to pay out if they can take that….I dont think so dear.

    Beware of these people, theyre also on the streets of your local town "supporting local schools". This money is only going to their local Land Rover dealership

     

     

  22. We have also received a call from 'TIB' – Teenage Information Bureau today.  She could have been following the School Books Scam script shown here.  She had the name of the owner of our business, saying that he had agreed to the arrangement 2 months ago.  He had no recollection of this (of course).  I googled the comapny name and found this post while I was still on the phone to them, so they won't be bullying us into parting with our hard earned cash.  They picked the wrong mark – it's hardly likely that a mobility company would be advertising in schools when the average age of our clientele is about 78!

  23. 0161 4946263

    4th time of ringing me data northern telling me my books are ready for distribution to a school of my choice…lucy the tele-sales woman keeps telling me they are a legit company and wouldn,t rip anyone off !!!!!  thats what the others told me back in 2008 to 2009 where i fell for these scams cost me thousands. 

  24. Called today by a woman claiming to be from 'the Anti-bullying Teenage Trust' saying that "the booklets for the schools have arrived and have your business details printed on them".  When we pointed out that our business was totally unrelated either to education or to teenagers, said that that didn't matter as it was an acknowledgement of our concern about wider social issues!  She also said that she had our business details on her database.  When we said that the 'details' were no more that the information readily avaiable from Companies House or the web, she hung up!

  25. I received a call today from a woman working for the 'Keep Teenagers Safe Campaign' telling me that the anti-bullying leaflets that I'd agreed to sponsor back in March were now ready to be distributed. She knew my name and my company name. I said, ‘I’ve no idea what you’re talking about’ when she insisted several times that she personally had spoken to me, I simply replied ‘No you didn’t’ until she hung up. I’ve posted this so people know this scam is active.

  26. We have just been called by TIB ltd saying that what we agreed to back in June was now requiring payment, etc.

    Knowing we don't actually advertise anyway was always a good clue, so a quick google while they were on the phone brought this page up, so thanks everyone for sharing the info.

    As soon as we said we're not interested as they were all over google the call soon ended!

    We were caught out years ago by these type of fraudsters, one even threatened to come round to reposses items to the value of the fake advertising, until I pointed out we are opposite the main police headquarters for the county I'm in, so feel free to drop by! Funny enough they never did.

     

  27. Have now had a few calls from The Owl House over a period of a few months. The first time pleasant lady says she contacted us before and we agreed to sponsor books for schools etc etc. When we pointed out we did not sponsor she turned more aggresive. We stated again we did not sponsor and asked for more details about herself and company and she put the phone down. We still get calls every few weeks and a similar conversation occurs.

  28. I have received a call today from a company called Data Northern. The lady was very insistant that she had spoken to me in March and I had agreed to sponsor some booklets for local schools in regards to alcohol awareness…… She knew my company name and my name. When I said that I had no idea what she was talking about and that I did not remember speaking to her she turned very pushy. I said that if this was true she should have something in writing from me in regards to this. She said that she would contact our head office after I refused to give her contact details for my director…….

  29. We did agree to a donation to the owl house as they told us they would be sending educational books to our grandchildrens school. We were under the impression they were a charity and as we do try to support local charities we agreed to a £200 donation . they did send 27 so called books ! more like pamphlets that i could have put together and posted for no more than £20 . these people are not a charity they are con artists . this has left a bad taste and will affect real charities when they ask for donations.  please do not give your  money to them !!!

  30. Had a 3rd scam call in as many months from Owl House Books for schools. In the first 2 calls they told me I'd previously agreed to appear in their literature at a cost of about £300. I told them I'd never agreed to that on both occasions and the caller became very pushy, insiting that I'd agreed and they'd be invoicing me. I asked for an email, or some kind of documentaiton that showed I'd agreed, which they didn't have. 3rd call today thanking me for agreeing to be in the Owl House book for schools program – apparently they'd sent me an information pack with an "opt-out" section in it. I never received this of course (because it doesn't exist!). Just told the lady very firmly that I'd never agreed to anything and she put the phone down. Then I found this site, confirming my suspicions that Owl House Books for Schools is a scam.

  31. Just had a call from TPC Northwest, same as Debbie had – almost to the letter. I refused to go any further – the lady on the phone was polite enough and reasonably well spoken, if a little insistent. Clearly this cam works for them… I shall inform all and sundry in an attempt to undermine their scam.

  32. Looks like I've fallen for this twice……I really thought I was doing something for the community but it appears the school have never received anything.

    The company chasing me are CPUK….Anyone else had dealings with these guys?

    They are still chasing me today and I've told them I'm not going any further until I've done a bit of investigating myself. They sound genuine but good fraudsters would wouldn't they…

  33. I've had a call from this scam company – glad i checked the web before sending any payment – i will be reporting them to the authorities next week.

     

  34. I have had a call from CPUK and have asked them to send the invoice to me as we have several projects that might have authorised this. I have since spoken to the project leads and no-one has heard of them!

    I have since rung them back and asked for an inital contact name, surprise surprise they only have mine. I am a newly wed and they seem to have my new name a lot quicker than the other organisations that we work with so it sent alaram bells ringing.

    I stated the invoice would have to go to our head office for further investigation, that was how it was left a week ago. They have just called to ask for a credit card payment as a note was left on our file to give us a call back to do this.

    I have had another rant to them on the phone and will be threatening legal or police action for further calls!

    Incredibly clever but big scammers! – reading a comment further up the page the total amount of £189 for 35 books is being charged. Seems it could be the same company that is changing its name!

  35. One of my colleagues took a call earlier from a Chris Berry who said it was about school safety booklets.  Wanted me to call him back on 08436 921042.  I am sure this rang a bell.  Does anyone know if this is a similar scam?  Thanks.

    Margaret

  36. Just had them call saying they were from the Owl House… really sad that these people are claiming to be doing something good for children but are simply low life scam artists.

  37. I took a call from a lady with a Manchester / Liverpool accent a few minutes ago.  It was a "thank you" call for our support for the school books in the drug awareness campaign.  As usual, school of our choice etc.

    When she mentioned the invoice of £189 I pointed out that we are a council owned business and that all expenditure, particularly if it involves advertising, has to be authorised at the town hall, and asked if she had that authorisation.  When she said she hadn't I suggested she email with full details so we could take a look at it.  She lost interest at this point.  

  38. They are still at it. Lady called Chantal from Owl House (she also called the business COH based in Ashton under Lyne!) rang (number withheld) to say she had spoken to me back in December 2013 and wanted to thank me for agreeing to sponsor some Anti Bullying booklets for schools and would I like to nominate some schools in our area who would receive the booklets.

    I challenged her ascertain that I had previously spoken with her – she insisted I had but after some debate she "hung-up"

    Don't get caught by these people

  39. we just had the TOH (The Owl House) scam call.  The caller knew my name and e-mail and said I had previously agreed that we would support an anti-bullying campaign by sponsoring safety booklets for distribution in local schools.  I said she must be mistaken because we are a charity ourselves – a local Hospice – and not in a position to give money to other charities, even if we wanted to.  She got pushy then backed off, saying she would have to check the record of the original call, and hung up.  Let's see if they bother us again.

  40. Hello,

    I was wondering if anyone could help me. I am trying to find the phone number for a company who call themselves DATA-Track/DATATRAK? They have stupidly called our company this morning and convinced the owner fo our business into being invoiced for an Alcohol Awareness CAmpaign of booklets to be sent to a local school.

    Unfortunately for them, I had the displeasure of working for one of these companies in Liverpool and know exactly how they work. I am just gutted it wasn't me who answered the phone!

     

    Any help would be great. I have called D.A.T.A. Northern and they deny being Data Track, so I need another tactic.

     

    Thanks in advance,

    Liam

  41. I have an invoice from a Company called  Child Guidance UK for  book and DVD pack  – guess what £189.00.  I contatcted the school i had allocated and they don't subscribe to this sort of thing. I havent paid.Their documentation is very credible. Just put a phone call into them, yet again very credible. How do i find out if this is a scam or not?

  42. Had three calls now from The Owl House in Ashton Under-Lyne.  Spoke with Trading Standards and although they couldn't confirm it was a scam, they said it had all the hallmarks.  Received my invoice and certificate this morning and like so many others, the school name was spelt wrongly!  Just waiting now for the abusive calls to start, but I think I'll be abusive back!

  43. I've just been contacted by 'Alison' regarding books for schools about drug and alcohol awareness. She thanked me for my support and asked did I have a preference for which school the books went to. When I said it was none of my business as I wasn't paying for anything, she said I would have been called 'some months ago'. I said not and she rang off saying she'd have to refer it to someone else as there'd obviously been a mix up. Very plausible though so watch out.

  44. I just had a call. Private Number. First thing I did was ask for their website address, found this forum and had a read while she wittered on about "The Devastaing Effects of Drug and Alcohol Abuse" (I could do with some of that myself). Then I asked her what she thought about forums talking about her company and what people were saying. She went off on some rant about how she loves her job and how wonderful her company is. "So I take it you are not interested Sir?" and thanked her for her time and said goodbye. Thanks to you guys, I didn't get caught out.

  45. Having just advertised my B&B in a magazine I was not suprised to get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the company asking how many copies I would like to reveive.  I had a pleasent enough conversation with the bloke, where he confirmed my name and address.  Today I get an invoice from a company calling themselves Birch Wood, claiming i had agreed to sponsor a community based magazine, based in Manchester (drugs, internet safety etc) and asking for payment of £99.  I know i did not agree to this, so emailed the company saying as i know i had not agreed to sponsor the magazine I would not be paying.  I then get a phone call from Laura Hammond from accounts who plays me the end bit of the recorded conversation I had had with the original bloke (the bit where I confirm my name and address).  I tell her I remember the conversation, but it was not in relation to sponsorship, I tell her she is obviously mis representing me.  I ask her to ring back in half an hour as I told her I couldnt discuss this further as I was with someone..  I wasn't……but i wanted to google this company.   I can find no record of the company existing anywhere, but the scam sounds familiar.  I  have now emailed the company again telling them that I believe they are a hoax company and that I will be passing their details on to the police and trading standards.

  46. Just received the invoice from books4school about drug to educate children. So glad I found this website. I knew I hadn't agreed to it. They were so forceful on the phone, can't wait for then to chase me for payment. They won't be getting a penny off this £499 invoice! Their website is http://www.b4s.org.uk be aware. 

  47. I actually fell for this when first starting up self employed myself. Probably paid them about 3/4 times £120+ per time. Then once I told them no and writ it down in a diary that I have asked not to be contacted and that I have not agreed to anything they became more aggressive and threatened with bailiffs and courts etc. so I told them to carry on with legal proceedings but I never heard anything of it. Today totally out of the blue I had an unknown number ring me saying I've agreed to help out and  the books are ready to distribute into schools in my area (the schools broke up 1-2 weeks ago for their summer holidays – 6weeks) and I have done numerous research which shows me they are scamming honest people trying to set up a business and help the local schools etc at the same time with abit of advertising in return and after telling him this he began to call me a cowboy decorator and can assure me they're an honest legit company. I know who I believe out of them and my school of choice when they say they received no books! He proceeded to rabbit on about bullying all over Facebook and twitter nowadays and not just in schools bla bla bla , 5 minutes later he said so which schools do I want to choose? I told him I'm not interested and that I've donated money to my old school personally and he hung up! Since that call around 10am I've had 3 unknown calls where someone says hello then hangs up def the same accent (Manchester) and office chat in the background ! 

     

    Total w*****s in my opinion preying on gullible , innocent people ! AVOID THEM !!!

  48. Glad I found this site, we are currently being pursued by Data Northern Ltd – 0161 494 6263 for our MD agreeing in June to advert in school booklets for drug awarenes amongst adolescents. Becky phones us every day chasing this supposed debt. Their website is data-ltd.co.uk. From companies house this company had the same director – Ashley Thorley as TIB North Ltd which was put into liquidation.

  49. Just received a phonecall like all the ones mentioned above claiming that we had agreed in April to sponsor an anti bullying campaign in local schools and that they had a parcel of booklets ready to send to us.  Their name was Owl House in Ashton Under Lyne.  I told them that we hadn't and to go away and not ring us again.  Also, we have passed their details to the Trading Standards office that covers Ashton Under Lyne for investigation.

  50. Just had a call from Owl House regarding bullying in schools book etc.. Started off with the usual ploy of thanking us for our previous support and so on… I told them we don't ever get involved with this sort of scheme, drugs/police/fire brigade/ and so on and she must be lying about it! she then changed tack and said the books were ready now, and did I want to nominate a school.. I said it sounded like scam, and remove me from their data base, and put phone down..

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