HOAXERS are trying to trick firms in West Yorkshire out of their cash.
They are sending out bills for a bogus fax directory - and trying to claim up to £354.
Now Trading Standards officers in West Yorkshire are warning businesses to be on the lookout for the unsolicited invoices. Ironically, one of the invoices was sent to the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service accounts department.
It came from International Yellow Pages & Fax Directories of the Czech Republic. The invoice states that for £354.05 West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service can have an entry on an Internet and CD-Rom-based fax directory. Complaints have been received about this mailshot and similar fax directories.
Clr Graham Clarke, chairman of West Yorkshire Joint Services said: "Businesses need to be extra vigilant - these look like genuine invoices. It was lucky that sharp-eyed staff at Trading Standards spotted it, but this `bill' could easily have been paid."
Trading standards officers said it should be noted that the company, International Yellow Pages & Fax Directories, could easily be confused with the company Yellow Pages, with which it has no connection.
Martin Wood, Chief Officer of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, added: "If these documents had originated in the UK they would have to be clearly marked with indications that they were not demands for payment, and that there was no obligation to pay.
"As they originate from overseas, it is difficult to stop them and recipient companies can be misled into believing they are bills and pay them. Under no circumstances should businesses respond to the mailshot, but just bin it."