South Yorkshire Fire warns of bogus publishing scam over fake magazine

Fire chiefs in South Yorkshire have warned people to be on their guard against rogue publishers offering advertising space in a publication they claim they are producing on behalf of the fire service.

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 11:50 am

Local businesses have been receiving unsolicited telephone calls offering space in a magazine they claim is linked to the fire service.

In particular, small businesses, shops, doctors’ surgeries and dental practices are being targeted.

The cost of the ‘advert’ can range from £50 to anything up to £1,000.

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South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has warned over the fake magazine.

However, once people have paid they find the publication either doesn’t exist or only a handful of copies are printed. Generally, if the call is bogus, the caller will only provide a PO box address and the phone number will be blocked.

If you receive an unsolicited call from a publishing company:

- Don’t agree to anything until you are given full details of the publishing company and what you will get for your money

- Ask to see terms and conditions before agreeing anything

- Read all small print of any contract carefully

- Establish how many copies are being published, where they will be distributed and how, and where can you get hold of a copy

- If you are told that someone from your company has already verbally agreed to place an advert get full details of who and when, and check with the member of staff before agreeing anything further

- Ask which other companies in your area have taken advertising space and contact them to see if the caller is genuine

- If you receive a demand for payment, which could be over the phone or via an ‘invoice’ respond to the demand stating why you do not owe any money

- Businesses which may have been contacted in this way should report any details they may have to Action Fraud

It is the latest in a number of scams targeting people in South Yorkshire.

Yesterday, South Yorkshire Police urged people to be on their guard against bogus landlords in a scam where a house is advertised on social media and a deposit is asked for, but when people turn up at the property they find it is already let with the scammers having disappeared with the cash.