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Bogus callers warning

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) has received reports of bogus phone calls in which people are offering advertising space in a publication they claim they are producing on behalf of the fire and rescue service.

The rogue publishers make unsolicited telephone calls to businesses, in particular, small businesses, doctors’ surgeries and dental practices.

During the phone calls, the caller either claims to be selling advertising in a magazine or fundraising for the fire and rescue service. The cost of the ‘advert’ can range from £100 to anything up to £1,000.

However, the money will not go towards the fire and rescue service as they have promised and once you have paid you may find the publication either doesn’t exist or only a handful of copies are printed. Generally, if the call is bogus, the caller will only provide a PO box address and the phone number will be blocked.

On occasion, RBFRS uses third party organisations to gain feedback from Berkshire residents to improve its service, but they will never ask you for money.

RBFRS does regularly raise money for causes such as The Fire Fighters Charity and other registered charities but this is usually done through car washes and other events at fire stations. Whenever fundraising is done by RBFRS at public events, there will always be members of staff in uniform present that will be more than happy to show their identification.

If you do receive a phone call from someone claiming to be selling something or fundraising on our behalf, please hang up and report any details you may have to Action Fraud.

Fake fire prevention services

RBFRS has also been alerted that bogus traders are using the Grenfell Tower fire to pose as council officials or professionals in the fire prevention industry to defraud them for services or goods that don’t exist or aren’t necessary.

Please encourage anyone that has been targeted by these scams to report them to Action Fraud.