Businesses in Chelmsford, with alcohol licences, are being alerted to a new scam which has been tried in parts of Essex and East London and sees fraudsters posing as council licensing officers. Chelmsford City Council is urging premises to be aware of the scam which involves the bogus council licensing officers asking businesses for their annual fee to be paid in cash. The bogus officers can be very convincing and have correct details such as the exact amount of the fee and the names of actual council officials.
The City Council is reminding businesses that its officers will always carry official ID, and will never ask for instant payment by cash or even by card. Requests for payment will always be made in writing, and official payments will be made at a City Council office or via the City Council’s online system. If anyone is unsure about the identity of someone claiming to be a Chelmsford City Council licensing official – even if they have ID – they should call the team on 01245 606727 to verify the person is genuine.
Chelmsford City Council will never ask for an instant payment, even if a receipt is offered as has been the case in some places where this fraud has been carried out. Anyone who suspects they have been a victim of this type of fraud, or an attempt, is asked to save any CCTV they may have of the incident and to contact the licensing team on the number above or at online at https://www.chelmsford.gov.uk/your-council/contacting-us/contact-licensing/– businesses should also inform Essex Police on 101 and Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Monday 12 February 2018