Butchers warned of fraudulent ‘utility company’

The butchery industry has been told to remain “vigilant” in the face of a scam involving fake utility companies. 

The National Federation of Meat & Food Traders (NFMFT) warned that a member was approached by a ‘utility company’ that implied they were working on behalf of the Federation. The approached business was suspicious, and raised it with the NFMFT.

The organisation issued a statement saying to its members: “There are con men currently putting through false transfers and then claiming commission from the new supplier so be on your guard!”

It is an easy scam to pull off if they know your meter number, said the NFMFT, and it can take several weeks before a business becomes aware of the illegal operations. Subsequently, it can take several weeks and a lot of effort to transfer back to the original supplier. Butchers were told not to share electricity or gas meter numbers to anyone unless it is a genuine supplier.

Roger Kelsey, chief executive of the NFMFT, told Meat Trades Journal: “People should be vigilant when talking to cold callers and check with the NFMFT website or the office about trusted partners the Federation works with before divulging any confidential information!”

Although it said it has not been aware of any incidents, the Q Guild echoed the NFMFT’s sentiments that butchers ought to be on their guard. “Whilst we’re not aware of any members of the Q Guild of Butchers that have been targeted in this way, we’d urge butchers across the UK to be vigilant,” a spokesperson for the Q Guild told Meat Trades Journal.

“The Q Guild has no affiliation with any untility firms. If anyone is suspicious of anyone purporting to be associated with the Q Guild, we’d urge them to contact us direct.”

If anybody is suspicious, the NFMT can be contacted on 01923 854770, and the Q Guild of Butchers on 01738 633160.

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