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Yarmouth shop hit by scam

PUBLISHED: 12:54 13 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:41 30 June 2010

The Sentiments shop's director Terence Seager

The Sentiments shop's director Terence Seager

A WARNING has gone out to businesses in Great Yarmouth about a scam involving a

bogus public relations company.

Staff at wedding shop Sentiments From The Heart, in St Nicholas Road, were targeted by a woman claiming to be from a PR firm

selling advertising space in Tesco.

A WARNING has gone out to businesses in Great Yarmouth about a scam involving a

bogus public relations company.

Staff at wedding shop Sentiments From The Heart, in St Nicholas Road, were targeted by a woman claiming to be from a PR firm

selling advertising space in Tesco.

But when the shop's director, Terence Seager, tried to contact the firm, Eden Group Promotions, on a phone number the woman had given him, he found the company did not exist.

It meant he had lost the £214 he had spent on the advert.

Mr Seager said: “It has been quite traumatic because we are only a small, young company and we are counting pennies every day, and at this time of the year business

is pretty slow; so, to lose £200 in January was not a good idea.”

He said the woman who visited his shop at 10am on January 6 was well dressed and seemed professional, carrying a headed notepaper contract.

Mr Seager added he had no reason to suspect the woman was bogus as many major retailers had their own public relations firms.

“We have been the victim of a scam, and I want to tell every business to be aware of the situation. The scam says to potential mugs like me: 'You can advertise in Tesco for a price and the price is very good and competitive,' and therefore it is easy to fall for it,” he said.

Norfolk police have confirmed that the incident, reported to police on January 29, is being investigated.

Meanwhile, Norfolk County Council's trading standards team is warning people never to agree to have work done, or to buy goods from, someone who calls unannounced at their door or approaches them on the street.

They point out that

bogus traders often don't provide full names, trading addresses or contact

telephone numbers, resulting in it being virtually impossible to trace them if there are any problems with the work or goods.

Such traders often ask for cash up front and do not

offer the entitled seven-day cancellation rights.

Anyone who experiences problems with traders or needs further advice can call the national consumer helpline, Consumer Direct, on 08454 040 506.

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