This is a small, but irritating distraction from getting on with the business making this a better world. Quite simply, I’ve been now targeted several times by charitable publication scams. By definition, the crime stoppers website describes this as:
A telesales agent will call a business selling advertising space in a fake publication for a seemingly good cause. They will give the impression that there is a legitimate partnership with either a local charity, emergency service, crime prevention or community health initiative. Sometimes they will claim that a previous order has been placed or that someone else in your business has agreed to take out advertising space. Rogue publishers may send invoices to businesses who had said no to their telephones sales pitch or follow up the invoices with threats of legal action.
The saddest part is that there doesn’t seem an easy way of getting the message out there.
Take my latest bane, which is from a company that calls itself LMD Media. They’d sent me a ‘charitable’ publication titled: LIFELINE, an emergency services magazine, in which they placed a supposed advert of mine and are charging me £199 for the pleasure of it. Not that I’d designed or approved the advert (it looks awful). The most obvious element of the fraud is that this is a one-off digital copy of the magazine. There are no other copies actually advertising my business (even with a badly done advert) out there.
Yet the demands and hounding for payment continue. Via mail, email and text messages. Sadly, getting actually getting to talk to anybody there is impossible. The only conversation they want (obviously) is that you pay your invoice. If you want to know more details or speak to someone else – the conversation gets cut off.
So, while I carry on trying to find avenues that will actually deal with this, and similar frauds, I thought that I’d put the LMD Media name out there, into the wider world. No surprise, there is no website for them (well, there is http://www.lmdmedia.org which is registered outside the UK), but if you do want to have a bit of fun, you can call them on 0845 519 6705 or email email@example.com
Ways to report crimes that I have tried include: