What it is
When fraudsters use an address to give you the confidence that you’re dealing with a legitimate business, either by hiring a location or using a mail-forward service based at the address.
- A prestigious address isn't a guarantee that a business is authentic.
- Don’t send personal information and/or money up front if you’ve been offered a prize or reward.
- Don’t respond to any letters, emails, text messages or social media that looks suspicious, including messages with poor spelling and grammar.
Spot the signs
- The address is listed for hire or to let on the Internet, or advertised as somewhere people can hire for temporary use, such as serviced offices or apartments.
- The organisation isn't listed with Companies House.
How it happens
Someone may contact you using an accommodation address to ask you to send payment or fee to the address. It could be any of a range of frauds such as an advance fees or bogus lotteries, or an offer to buy low-quality or non-existent products.
Accommodation addresses are usually offices that collect mail on behalf of others. They’re different from PO boxes; they’re street addresses to give the appearance of a genuine office.
Some fraudsters claim to help you set up your own business. They’ll offer you use of the impressive-sounding address as a base for your company’s registration and may even offer to handle your post. They’ll fail to honour the agreement or use it to tamper with your company’s finances, or intercept your mail.
How to report it
If you've already replied to the organisation with your personal details or sent money to the address, don’t respond to any further requests. Report it to us online or call 0300 123 2040.