Home > Financial Scams > Office of Government Commerce Scam

Office of Government Commerce Scam

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 9 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Scam Office Of Government Commerce

We tend to think of scams attacking individuals but that’s not always the case. Businesses can be targeted too, and sometimes more successfully, since it’s something no one expects. Thankfully, though, there are far fewer business than individual consumer scams. But some of the ones that exist can be quite insidious.

Office of Government Commerce

There’s an Office of Government Commerce, through which companies do business with various government agencies. Think of it as a centralised clearing house, through which all contracts are awarded. It’s an institution many businesses are familiar with, whether they’re in the U.K. or in the U.S.

However, there’s been a scam targeting businesses that do work with the Office of Government Commerce, on both sides of the Atlantic, one that, if they respond, can see them giving up important banking details.

How It Works

Business who deal with the OGC (Office of Government Commerce), along with others, have received faxes purporting to be from the OGC stating that, in order to be considered for business, they need to send in an “authorisation to release financial information” form. That sounds plausible enough, but the company is asked to fax the information given to a number on the form.

Among the things they’re asked are bank account information, including account numbers and sort codes, as well as other items that would normally be kept confidential. However, it’s reasonable that an agency would ask for all of this, and there’s little to arouse suspicion.

But the fax number doesn’t belong to any government agency. Instead it’s run by criminals, and once they receive the information, they can strip the company’s accounts, as well as open new accounts in their name and run up bills.

How to Stop It

The main thing any business should know is that the OGC would not do business this way. In fact, they’ve sent out warnings about this scam. They would never ask a business to send financial information in a fax.

You should just discard any fax like this that you receive. However, if you do that, you’ll find yourself wondering it was real and you might have scuppered your company’s chances of receiving lucrative government contracts.

The best thing to do in such a situation is to call the OCG to confirm that they sent the fax. Don’t use any contact number sent with the fax; it could easily be fake (and probably will be). You need to contact the agency’s service desk on 0845 000 4999; they’ll be able to advise you.

What To Do If You’ve Been a Victim

If you’ve fallen for the scam – and it’s easy to be a victim – the first thing to do is contact all the institutions with whom you do financial business – your banks, line of credits, and so on. Inform them what’s happened.

They’ll be able to help you, although it can be a nightmare of forms. However, it’s worthwhile in the long run.

Part of it depends on how quickly you discover the scam. If you catch it very early, you might be able to save your money. If it’s too late, report the fact not only to the police, but also the Office of Government Commerce. The chances of recovering your money, sadly, are very small.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Samh1979
    Re: Builder's Scams
    Don’t fall foul of Arren Safavi from Lancashire decking. He looks and acts all professional however once the deposit is paid that’s him doing a…
    22 April 2022
  • Dia
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    I just received a call from someone saying from Sky not sure if it was genuine. Asked me for my address. Then my bank details, then my password for my…
    2 April 2022
  • Pepper
    Re: Scams And Seniors
    Scammed out of £12500 by a builder who has been to court several times. I paid by my debit card, have I any chance of getting compensation. I am…
    9 September 2021
  • snobbs
    Re: Builder's Scams
    We have been scammed by James Hookey & Libby Hookey... advertised for a roofer on fb, Libby contacted me to say James can help... he came quoted,…
    6 July 2021
  • Villager
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    I received a call from ‘Sky’ this week saying I had overpaid and was due a refund. This seemed fairly plausible as the day before I had telephoned Sky…
    10 June 2021
  • Sam
    Re: Builder's Scams
    Don't use Martin Jacques from swift cavity clear or swift building services based in Manchester.He did a awful job of my garden and charged thousands.
    1 June 2021
  • John
    Re: Bank Identification or BIN numbers Scam
    Okay I just don’t want to euryeurueiieoeoe you talking about to sleep or sleep no sleep sleep no cap on sleep and…
    6 May 2021
  • Scallywaggle
    Re: Builder's Scams
    I have been scammed by a man called James hookey, and his wife Libby hookey, from face book, asking for recommendation, for patio, The wife sends a…
    5 April 2021
  • don’t know
    Re: Vishing Scam
    Had a text message this morning form a mobile number saying that I’ve missed a delivery and that I needed to pay 1.50 to R.M. Lucky enough my iPhone…
    17 March 2021
  • d.a.smith
    Re: Builder's Scams
    DNF Builder and Plastering, based in North East (Newcastle/Gateshead/South Shields/Sunderland), run by David (Mancunian) and Ian. ***Do not…
    28 February 2021