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Advertising space fraud

Police are warning small businesses to be aware of fraudsters claiming to work on behalf of the local police service selling advertising space.

UK Policemen

There have been several reports of small businesses across the United Kingdom being targeted by fraudsters who claim to be working on behalf of the local police service.

In each case, the fraudster attempts to sell the victim advertising space in Emergency Service and community publications that do not exist.

Charges range between £100 and £600

Detective Constable Matt Stevens, from the Criminal Finance team in Islington said: “The victims are being charged between £100 and £600 a time to buy advertising space in publications that claim to sponsor the work of the emergency services. The fraudsters state that they are working on behalf of their local police service and have even on occasion, presented themselves as police officers.

"I hope this will serve as a warning to the business community that the police do not sell advertising space in any publications and prevent further businesses falling victim to this crime.

“If you are contacted by anyone claiming to be a police officer or working on their behalf, and you have reason to doubt their authenticity, ask them for their name, rank, shoulder number and police station. You can then confirm their identity and the legitimacy of their enquiry by calling that particular force or by dialling the police non emergency number 101.”

Read more about the fraud on the Met Police website.

Please note: Action Fraud is not responsible for the content on external websites.

If you are a victim of fraud you can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

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