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Look out for VAT number scam letter

Orkney Islands Council’s Trading Standards team is warning local businesses about a scam that is currently doing the rounds.

The team has had reports of businesses receiving a letter headed ‘’UK – DATA CONTROL – Missing information about your VAT Registration Number’’ with ‘’Scotland Business’’ prominently stated at the top of the first page.

The letter says that the sender is looking to update VAT Registration Numbers. However, what the scammers are actually trying to do is get the business to sign up to paying £790 per year for 3 years inclusion on the UK-Data Control portal. Inclusion on this portal is likely to derive absolutely no benefit to the local business

Trading Standards Manager Gary Foubister said ‘’We are concerned that local businesses may consider the letter to be an official communication and will sign and return the form leading to demands for payment. Several local businesses are already listed on the trader’s website,, so we anticipate that all those businesses will have received the letter and we hope that no local business is persuaded to pay money under false pretences. We are contacting all local businesses on the portal to ascertain the extent of any payment demands’’

Businesses should be aware that there is no obligation on them to provide any information to the company and entries do not have to appear on the company’s website or portal.

For further information or advice, please contact Trading Standards at the Council Offices on 01856 873535 or by email to

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