BUSINESSES are advised to be on their guard for unsolicited telephone calls about a charity calendar.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service is warning organisations not to be taken in by a spurious company phoning businesses regarding a calendar or advertising brochure.
It claims the proceeds will go directly to a charity for children with cancer.
The company targets a business and indicates that the artwork for their advertisement is ready and confirms the price.
This may mislead recipient companies into believing there has already been a pre-arranged contractual agreement in place for the advert.
The service was alerted to the scam after its own officers received calls.
Martin Wood, the service's chief officer, said: "I am surprised this company tried to con West Yorkshire Trading Standards, especially when we are the organisation which is there to protect consumers and businesses from this type of deceptive practice."
The education and promotions team at West Yorkshire Trading Standards received a call from the organisation, but the conversation ended when officers interrogated the caller for their address and they hung up.
Clr Graham Clarke, chairman of West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee said: "This company is targeting local businesses, but we are also aware that they have been in contact with local authority departments.
"We believe their claim, that they are linked to charities, is fictitious.
"Anyone targeted should not feel guilty for saying no to paying their advertising fee.
"If you or your organisation receives such a call and you suspect that no agreement has been made, then, quite simply, do not pay the bill.
"Any business wanting to make a donation to a charity should check with the Charities Commission to ensure it is registered as a genuine organisation."
Call the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service consumer helpline on 0113 3848848.
The line is open between 8.30am and 6.30pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.
The Charities Commission can be contacted on 0870 333 0123.
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