Firms warned of health and safety scam
Fraudsters posing as HSE 'compliance' officials targeting thousands of businesses
Small businesses have been warned not to be fooled by fraudsters who demand payments while posing as government enforcement agencies.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said that thousands of firms have been contacted by con artists claiming to be regulators of health and safety laws.
The fraudsters have sent out a series of official-looking letters to businesses demanding registration payments of up to £249.
Using the titles Health and Safety Enforcement Agency, Health and Safety Registration Enforcement Division or Health and Safety Compliance Agency, the fraudsters have threatened thousands of entrepreneurs with fines and imprisonment if they do not comply.
The FSB said that the government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed that it never writes indiscriminately to businesses and stressed that there is no need for bosses to buy registration packs from any of these organisations.
The business lobby group urged small firms not to answer the letters and report them to the HSE.
Mary Broughton, health and safety chairman at the FSB, said that entrepreneurs should ignore the letters.
“Ever-increasing health and safety requirements and the threat of strong penalties for non-compliance, mean small employers are aware of the need to follow the law and may be easy prey for such scams.
“We advise members to ignore the approaches of these fraudulent companies and refer the matter to the HSE which is carrying out an investigation in conjunction with the trading standards office and the police,” she said.
To contact the HSE, go to www.hse.gov.uk