Trading Standards issue warning about mailshot
Aberdeen City Council Trading Standards team is warning local businesses not to respond to a mailshot that could result in a bill of almost £2,400 over a period of three years.
Businesses are being advised to ignore a letter from a firm with an address in Hamburg, Germany which is headed "Publication of Companies and VAT Registration Numbers in the UK Corporate Portal 2014".
The letter claims that due to a change to the "EU Economic Package", which requires all companies to provide their VAT registration number on various documents since 2010, the "UK Corporate Portal" is also required to update companies' business data as a "basic entry".
The letter also includes a form for businesses to check and sign to say their details are correct if they wish their entry to be a "non-basic entry".
The small print indicates that a cost of £797 a year will be incurred by the business, for a minimum of three years.
Graeme Paton, team leader, Trading Standards, Aberdeen City Council, said: "We are concerned that local businesses may believe the letter to be from an official source, which is not the case.
"If businesses sign and return the form to confirm their details are correct they could end up being tied into a contract and be liable for high costs of an entry in this publication.
"We have had a couple of enquiries so far and businesses should be aware that they are not obliged to provide this information to this company."
If you want to report a scam you can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service National Advice line on 08454 04 05 06.