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Posted by Keith A. Meager, Jun 26 2010 12:43PM

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Scam - PLEASE READ FOLKS

Hi,
Myself and one of my committee have received calls from an organisation claiming to represent the 'Emergency Services' seeking therapists to provide treatments.
THIS IS A SCAM.
I reproduce below the email my committee member sent to me following some enquiries he made:
As promised here is some information I've typed up and been circulating around the business owners I know today, and which of course will be highly relevant to our therapist' community given the way that I was targeted by this scam recently...

I have been contacted in the last 2 days by a company calling themselves "Emergency Services Press" who claim to publish a magazine that gets distributed to the offices of all the major emergency services in the UK such as fire, ambulance, police and sea or land rescue, etc.

The person who cold calls will aim to sell you advertising space for your business in their magazine, as well as advertising which they claim goes out on mail shots and email distribution lists. The evidence I have gleaned from the due diligence searches I did on the internet yesterday confirms that this is indeed a long running national scam, where no magazines or mail shots ever reach the claimed target audience. The people behind this scheme also setup different company names and website addresses which never seem to have fully identifiable contact and address location details of their registered premises. I'm sure there must be genuine companies out there doing this kind of thing, but this ain't one of them.

Businesses from any sector or area of the country could be targeted, although in my particular case they were targeting me as a provider of complementary / alternative health services. I asked where they got my details from and the person on the phone said it would have either been through the FHT (Federation of Holistic Therapists) or Embody (CThA - Complementary Therapists Association).

The websites (there could be more) of the organisation peddling this scam are:

http://www.espress.org.uk/
http://www.iplmedia.co.uk/

And a small sample of supporting evidence that this is a known scam can be read about at these web pages:

http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/yourcouncil/pressoffice/pressreleases/2007/02/1321.htm
http://www.advertisingprotectionagency.org/ledger-of-support-publishing-firms.php
http://www.4networking.biz/forum/5/64120.htm

As of this morning, I have logged a call with Trading Standards at Devon County Council and will be forwarding this information on to all business owners that I know.

Finally, here is a very helpful webpage that I found of do's and don'ts when dealing with something like this which I took on board just in the nick of time:

http://www.insolvency.gov.uk/cib/scams.htm

Thankfully I didn't get as far as exchanging payment information with them, although nearly did, and I have covered myself in case they try to invoice me, which they have tried on with other people according to reports which can be found on the internet.

We trust by reading this you will all be forewarned.
In light & peace

Keith A Meager
Co-Ordinator, Exeter Torbay & District Therapists Network.
26.06.10.


Alison Baillie
Jun 28 2010 12:01PM
wish you had produced this 2 years ago when I got succered by them and the worst bit is once they have conned you once they will keep coming back I have just had another phone call from them trying to get me again I just put the phone down after telling them I was not interested. Alison Baillie
Lisa Holyland
Jun 28 2010 2:21PM
Thanks for this information, Im always very wary of people like this anyway.

Lisa
Claire Hill
Jul 14 2010 11:32PM
I received one of these phone calls last week regarding my counselling services. I was immediately suspicious by their inability to answer a particular query. They used the ploy that members of the policeforce, fire service etc. are reluctant to use the in-house counselling services because it is likely to jeopardise their career prospects.
Gloria Flannery
Jul 20 2010 10:53PM
Thank you Keith for your diligence in bringing this to our attention. We need to protect each other's backs in this day and age of chancers.Angel's Blessings Always.
Gloeia Flannery, Dublin, Ireland

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