Warning to businesses about new ‘Companies House scam’

BUSINESSES are being urged to be on guard after a ‘convincing’ scam letter demanding payments to Companies House was sent to a Cumbria business.

Saint & Co Chartered Accountants is raising awareness of the fake demand from the Governmental agency for ‘Enhanced Web Filing Access’ – a service which doesn’t exist.

Clients of Saint & Co contacted the company after receiving the letters supposedly from the office of Companies House through the post, demanding £48 within seven days of receiving the correspondence.

The accountancy firm is now raising awareness of the scam letters to prevent anybody from falling victim to the fake demands.

Lindsay Farrer, a managing partner at Saint & Co Chartered Accountants.

Lindsay Farrer, a managing partner at Saint & Co, said: “A client who had recently been registered as a limited company flagged this correspondence to us to check the validity of the demand, because at first glance it looks very convincing and a genuine request. 

“The small amount of £48 also makes it more believable as many people associate scams with high-value sums.

“But on closer inspection there are minor errors which meant we were able to determine this was a scam, which has since been confirmed by Companies House.

“The first thing to point out is that ‘Enhanced Web Filing Access’ isn’t a service which exists, but that is not instantly identifiable to businesses, especially newly created ones. 

“There are a few spelling errors, such as ‘deatails’ and the use of ‘u’ instead of ‘you’, which may be hard to spot if you’re not looking out for them, while the most glaring error was the payment request suddenly switches to HMRC from Companies House on the second page.

A scam letter demanding payment to Companies House

“We want to raise awareness of these fake letters to businesses to prevent them falling into the trap, and we would recommend that clients always run business correspondence like this by us so we can check if they’re genuine.”

The fake correspondence from Companies House was printed with the agency’s letterhead, correct address and contact details.

Saint & Co operates across 10 offices in Cumbria and Dumfries & Galloway, and provides a range of accountancy services to businesses and individuals.

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