Garages warned over VAT business directory scam

Garages warned over VAT business directory scam

GARAGES are being warned about a business directory scam.

The Independent Garage Association says a database organisation calling itself British Business & Commerce, but which gives a German publication address, has been sending an official-looking letter to small businesses, telling them that because of ‘changes to the EU economic package’ they are obliged to provide their VAT registration number on documents so must send back their business and VAT details to update the database.

The letter from British Business & Commerce

A form is enclosed with basic company information already filled in, but additional information such as the business’s VAT number, managing director name and a ‘legally binding signature’ are all required.

A business reply envelope is also supplied to send the form back.

The IGA said: ‘Although no payment details are required on the form, the small print below states that the business agrees to the publication of their company’s data indicated on the form and place an order to publish it on www.british-business.com, with an annual billing of £977 due upon issue of the invoice.

The form from British Business & Commerce

‘You should also be aware that although this letter is from British Business & Commerce, you could receive one under a different business name.’

The IGA added that if members received a similar letter or became aware of any suspicious activity, they should report it to the IGA member helpline on 0845 305 4230 as soon as possible so that it could alert other members.

Scam letters can also be reported to the Royal Mail, Citizens Advice and Action Fraud.

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