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Business grants scam warning issued by Highland Council; local authority warns of criminals looking to take advantage of uncertainty during the Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown

By Andrew Dixon

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Highland Council trading standards is issuing a warning to local businesses about a new scam relating to business grants.

This scam involves an unsolicited email informing the business that its grant application has been processed and a payment would to be made to you soon. The email then refers the business to some remittance advice, adds the payment will be made that day and states the recipient should use contact details with any queries.

Mark McGinty.
Mark McGinty.

Trading standards team leader Mark McGinty said: “At a time when many businesses are struggling and really need to make use of the business grants available, we can rely on the unscrupulous scammers to step in and attempt to make a bad situation even worse. As this is a scam, the payment will not be received by the end of the day, prompting some businesses to make contact with the scammers.

"This of course is exactly what the scammers want, and it will get them that bit closer to taking valuable funds away from the business. I would urge all businesses to check emails received very carefully, and if it is from a source not known to you, delete it.”

Allan Maguire, the council's head of development and regeneration, said: “Highland Council has received a large volume of applications and we are working through these. Any correspondence in relation to such an application will be from an official Highland Council email address and will provide full contact details at the footer of the email should the business need to do so.”

Businesses wishing advice on scam avoidance should in the first instance visit the Highland Council trading standards Covid-19 website.

Members of the public wishing advice on a particular matter can contact Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000 or visit consumeradvice.scot

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