Phone scams are nothing new to businesses, but every year scammers create more and more creative and convincing stories to try and trick you into parting with your hard earned cash. If you’ve been caught before, you might be savvy enough to sniff them out right away, but this post is to inform you of a recent scam in the form of a phone call and then booklets being sent to your business address by post.
If you receive a phone call from anyone claiming to be from “SEM or the Child Satefy Initiative” do not give out your address or any other information to them. There are two ways these scammers will try to steal your hard earned cash.
The story goes, that this company are producing educational booklets to be sent to a local school of your choice (that they will probably tell you that you already chose, and spoke to them several months before to make it sound legitimate) to help them understand dangerous topics like online safety, drugs and alcohol or knife crime. However, when you think you can’t remember this phone call or what you agreed to… it’s because you have never spoken to them before and this is indeed, a scam.
I have personally had 3 of these calls now (as they obviously didn’t remove our details from their system after the first time I rejected them) so with each call I tried to catch them in the act. This time I managed to take a short recording. But from the other calls I have had with this fake company it tends to go something like this:
Is this NAME OF COMPANY
Yes hello, who is this?
This is NAME from SEM calling back regarding the Child Safety Initiative, we spoke back in INSERT MADE UP DATE to discuss our campaign to create educational booklets for local schools and you kindly agreed to help. We just wanted to let you know our campaign has been a big success and how the booklets are ready to be sent out.
(You’ll likely be a bit confused at this point) Oh I’m not sure I’ve spoken to you before?
Yes we spoke back in MADE UP DATE and you kindly agreed to support the campaign to support your local school.
This conversation goes on in this fashion, with the goal to get you to pay the fee for the booklet printing, or much more sneakily to get you to provide your address so they can send you a certificate for supporting the campaign. But in reality they want your address so they can send you the bill in the post. If you agree over the phone to receive anything from them (even just a certificate) they will charge you for the production of imaginary booklets via a postal invoice.
So, be wary if you receive a phone call from anyone claiming to be from this company, as well as any other company who offer to send you anything in the post that you have never heard off or agreed to previously. Even if they offer you something for free initially. This is another form of phone/postal scam. Where they company sends you a free first copy of a booklet, and automatically signs you up to an expensive subscription if you don’t cancel, sending you the invoice in the post later down the line.
Below is a short recording I managed to take of the most recent call, and SEM can be sure that if they call me again… I’ll be adding more content to this post.