It has come to the attention of East Lothian Council’s Trading Standards Service that a number of businesses offering accommodation within the county have been the target of an e-mail scam.
The e-mails promise an ‘over-payment’ for the accommodation costs with their business associate is paying for their travel expenses together with their accommodation fee via cheque, and asks that the balance is refunded.
Although this scam has appeared under a number of different names, a common theme of energy companies as their business has seemed to be the case. They have also been known to ask for accommodation much too large for the party they say will be staying. If you have responded to this email and received a cheque, please do not attempt to cash it as it may be fake or stolen. Instead, take it to your bank for verification and for potential fraud investigation and report the matter to the local police.
Tony McAuley, spokesperson for East Lothian Trading Standards, said: “We would ask that all businesses are diligent towards this type of scam and if you receive an email like this, to please delete it from your inbox. We would also remind business owners never to give out their bank details via email, and to treat any suspicious enquiries with caution. If you have any other concerns about this please contact 01620 827365”.