I've just had a very interesting interaction with some scammers.
Yesterday, I got a call from an Alton phone number (01420 394006).
I guy with a thick Asian accent wanted to talk to me about reducing my company Corporation Tax liability by claiming for R&D Tax credits.
He knew a fair amount about my company but only info you can get from the Companies House web site.
I advised him my company does not meet any of the criteria for R&D Tax Credits, but he was very insistent that he gets a consultant to call me back the following day.
Meanwhile, I got an Email from a guy called Michael Cash from Square Finance Ltd. explaining what R&D Tax Credits are. There was also a link to their wizzy hi-tech Website www.square-finance.com.
Today the Consultant called me back, he sounded very much like the first guy who called.
He started off with some very aggressive sales pitch on how they can reduce my tax liability.
I know a little about these credits and stopped him by explaining in great detail why my company does not meet any of the four HMRC criteria for R&D Tax Credits and that to attempt to claim this credit would be Tax Fraud.
Things got a little uncomfortable after that. When I mentioned the word "Scam", there was an uncomfortable laugh and insurances they were a legitimate Tax Advisory Service.
Well, he decided that they would start the claim process anyway and was sending the forms. All I needed to do was sign the authorisation form and send it back to him and they would initiate the claim process.
I've now got the forms.
Obviously, this whole interaction is covered in red flags, alarm bells and "Do Not Enter" signs.
So I did a little digging.
Firstly, the Website domain name is registered with NAMECHEAP INC
The Registrant has an address in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The head office of Square Finance Ltd is 435 London Rd, Sheffield (Picture below). They have 1 director Aneesa Baz.
(Update: As I write, Michael Cash has just called, asking me to sign the forms immediately and send them back to him.)
435 London Rd, Sheffield is also the address of a taxi company, Edge Car Hire with one employee, Zafeer Abdul. (https://edgecarhire.com/contacts/)
It's also the address of Medqon Ltd, (https://medicoreports.com/) A medical reporting company with one employee, Dr Balal Ahmad who according to Companies House is an Electronics Engineer.
Dr Ahmad also runs a company called: Intellectual Bunch Ltd who's head office is... You guessed it 435 London Rd Sheffield.
Dr Ahmad also runs Tiny Ox Consulting Ltd registered at 130 Old Street, London.
BUT, they have Job vacancies on a Pakistani Jobs Website for unmarried Software engineers in Lahore, Pakistan.
I have to get back to Michael Cash, Aneesa, Zafeer or Dr Ahmad Today.
How should I play this?
- Do I string him along and play games with him?
- Do I Confront him with all the evidence that he is a scammer?
- Do I block him?
- Report him to the authorities. (I have home addresses and mobile phone numbers)?