Businesses warned about ‘COVID-19 inspection scam’

Businesses warned about ‘COVID-19 inspection scam’

by Tom Martin (July 2020)

SEFTON businesses have been warned about a ‘coronavirus inspection scam’ following reports that callers are impersonating the Food Standards Agency.

Sefton Council’s Trading Standards has received reports that some businesses in the borough have been contacted over the phone by someone claiming to be from the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

The caller has requested permission to undertake a COVID 19 secure inspection of their premises but has also claimed the business could receive a reward up to £2,000 if they score highly in the inspection.

These calls could be related to a scam because no law enforcement agency would offer a financial inducement. 

Additionally, the FSA does not inspect local businesses as this is the responsibility of the council and COVID-19 is not a food matter but a health and safety one.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “This type of behaviour is both shocking and disgraceful and has an impact on businesses that have already been badly affected by COVID 19 during lockdown. 

“We advise businesses to take extra vigilant and be aware of these new scams that can take many forms. The general rule of scams applies - if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

"In the meantime, businesses should follow the official government advice, and take all necessary precautions."

Any business that is concerned they may have been targeted by a scam should report it to Sefton Trading Standards by emailing etscontact@sefton.gov.uk, by calling 03454 04 05 06 or visiting http://sefton.tradingstandards.uk/

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