District Council warns of scams relating to Business Support Grants

Published: 08 April 2020

A district councillor was contacted by three businesses saying they had received phone calls purporting to be from the Council in which shop owners were asked for their bank details over the phone to enable them to have a grant payment paid direct in to their accounts.

In another scam that has come to the Council’s attention there are so-called consultants offering to charge businesses a fee of up to £2,000 to access and process the grant application, something which is totally unnecessary as the process is clear and straightforward.

The Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Planning, Councillor Tony Johnson said: “All our businesses should be aware that Council staff will not ask for bank details over the phone.

“The whole process of managing the grant payments is completely free and very simple. Applications are made via the Council’s website where details can be found in the coronavirus feature at www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/businessgrant

“In fact we have proactively written to all businesses we believe are eligible for a grant. Checks are in place to prevent fraud and to ensure that these grants are paid only to those businesses that are genuinely entitled to them.

“In troubling times, scams like this are the last thing that our businesses need to try and steer them through the next few months. I urge everyone to be on their guard for scams and to deal with the Council through the proper process via our website where an online form can be completed in confidence.”

Action Fraud, the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre, is a useful national resource for businesses concerned about scams. Contact www.actionfraud.police.uk