THE Independent Garage Association is warning businesses to be aware of a new newspaper advertising scam that has been reported in the West Midlands.
Fraudsters have been calling garages and claiming to be from a local newspaper and asking if they would like to place a low-cost advert.
According to the association (IGA), the caller may know a lot about the business, including staff names, and they appear to be targeting independent garages that have previously placed adverts in the newspaper.
The caller encourages the businesses to secure their advertising place by taking a small payment over the phone but then tries to take a large amount, in some cases thousands of pounds, from the account. In all cases that the IGA is aware of, the bank has blocked the fraudulent activity.
Terry Gibson, head of member services at the IGA, commented: ‘This new scam is a reminder that we must all keep alert for the clues that tell us that something isn’t right. Scams are ever present and ever evolving, and it’s thanks to our members alerting us that we can spread the word to prevent others from being caught out.’
Although it has only been reported in the West Midlands so far, the IGA said it expected it to be picked up in other areas soon.
Anyone affected by this or another scam can contact the IGA on 0845 305 4230.