Notts: Small businesses being targeted by cold callers

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Local small businesses are being warned about a cold calling energy sales scam that offers to claim back up to £6k on their utility bills and leaves them £325 out of pocket.

Small businesses in Notts are being warned about a cold calling energy sales scam that offers to claim back up to £6,000 on their utility bills and leaves them £325 out of pocket.

Notts County Council’s Trading Standards team is investigating a series of complaints about a greater Nottingham-based company, which has used a number of names, that has been targeting pubs, cafes and takeaways and claims that they are being overcharged by their electricity supplier.

The scamming company arranges for an auditor to review the business’s energy bills and persuades them to sign a contract without an upfront fee to claim for the overcharged money.

The signed-up business receives a call shortly afterwards from an organisation claiming to be their main energy supplier and apologises that they have been overcharging them.

The company completes the scam by persuading the business to sign a contract that agrees to a £325 fee in the small print.

Affected businesses have received a follow-up letter outlining that the overcharged money cannot be claimed back as they signed up to the energy tariff as part of their original contract with their provider.

Coun Glynn Gilfoyle, chair of Notts County Council’s Community Safety Committee, said: “We are investigating this scam but we are interested in hearing from other businesses that have been targeted by this or similar companies.”

“We encourage businesses to be wary of cold calling companies claiming that they are being overcharged with their bills and they can get the money back – if it seems too good to be true it often is.”

To report any scams involving cold calling ompanies contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.