Businesses have been put on alert by Cardiff Council’s Trading Standards about a sham company operating from a mailbox address in London.
The company, called Slom Solution Ltd, and operating from a virtual rented office mailbox space is sending out deliberately misleading invoices implying that advertising on a web-based directory – www.britishintheweb.co.uk – has been ordered, and seeking payment.
Complaints have been received about the company from all over the UK – from as far north as Orkney to Brighton in the south.
Trading Standards is advising businesses not to pay to advertise on these types of web-based directory sites, which are often poorly designed and temporary in nature.
Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council, Councillor Judith Woodman, said: “There are multiple versions of this scam known to be operating at the moment, many appearing to be based in Latvia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Often, the scammers set up a limited company to give it an air of authenticity, and then rent a virtual office mailbox in a well-known or prestigious-sounding address. They don’t submit returns to Companies House, and rarely pay for the rented office facilities. A quick check on the internet will often highlight these scams – and prevent businesses being tricked.”
Businesses are reminded to check all invoices carefully, especially if they are unsolicited or from companies that they have not heard about. These scams rely on businesses under pressure, or with insufficiently robust payment processing checks, paying these fake invoices automatically without realising.