Trading Standards issue warning after Co Down day nursery lose £1,650 in an "elaborate scam"
The Trading Standards Service has issued a warning to businesses after a Co Down day nursery lost £1,650 in an "elaborate scam".
The service said the scam, which involved "an email from a seemingly legitimate source", invited applications for a government grant to fund advertising and marketing and included links for further information brochures and an application form.
Officials said that although the business name, addresses and online paperwork "were very convincing, government organisations do not seek money upfront from organisations in order for them to obtain a grant".
The scam involved the organisation making a 30 per cent contribution towards a total grant fund of £5,500. The organisation would then be able to access this supervised account and withdraw funding as required for appropriate purposes.
Bill Malloy, from Trading Standards Service, said: "Everyone should be on their guard as it is not only consumers who can be targeted by scammers.
"Any type of business or organisation can be a potential victim. Unscrupulous fraudsters will stop at nothing and the offer of a grant is often used by these criminals as a lure to snare the unwary".