Garage owners warned of new scam as fraudsters try to steal thousands

Scam identified across West Midlands but trade body believes garages across the country are at risk

Garage owners warned of new scam as fraudsters try to steal thousands
The Independent Garage Association is warning businesses to be aware of a new advertising scam. Image: Bigstock.

Fraudsters posing as local newspaper advertising agents are contacting garage owners in an attempt to take thousands of pounds from business accounts, the Independent Garage Association (IGA) has said.

The scammers call independent garages, usually those who have previously placed local newspaper adverts, and ask owners if they would like to place a low-cost advert in the paper.

The bogus advertising agents attempt to take a large sum of money, in some cases thousands of pounds, by encouraging garages to secure an advert booking with a ‘small payment’ over the phone.

The scam has been identified across the West Midlands, but the IGA believes garages in other areas could be at risk too.

Advising garages to be weary of the scam, the IGA said the scammers may know a lot about the business, including staff names.

Terry Gibson, head of member services at the IGA said: “This new scam is a reminder that we must all keep alert for the clues that tell us that something isn’t right.

“Scams are ever present and ever evolving and it’s thanks to our members alerting us that we can spread the word to prevent others from being caught out.”

In all cases that the IGA is are aware of, the bank has blocked the fraudulent activity.

To report suspicious activity or a scam targeting independent garage businesses, call the IGA on 0845 305 4230.

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