Children’s Bullying Book Scam

I’m often prone to absent-mindedness. I’ll admit that. It’s a weakness, and even comprehensive note taking doesn’t spare me from it.

But I always remember promising money to people. So I was a little surprised by the following telephone conversation:

Me: “Hello, Dave Coveney.”

Her: “Hello, I’m calling to confirm that the anti-bullying books you’ve sponsored are now ready to be sent out.  Which school in your postcode would you like to receive them?”

Me: “Er, pardon?!  Which postcode?”

Her: “WA8 8AA”

Me: “OK, er, when did we discuss this?”

Her: “In May.”

Now at this point I was getting suspicious – I don’t make a habit of sponsoring anything without there being some firm action on my part – ie, research and reading.

Me: “And what did I agree to?”

Her: “To sponsor these books, which have your business name on the back.”

Me: “But I’ve never sponsored anything!”

Her: “Oh just f*ck off.”  Brrrrrrrr….

Can’t be a fun job for the girl, but why would you even work in such a place?  It’s clearly a scam.  The idea is to make you think you’ve forgotten something (easily done in a busy firm) that happened six months ago.  They send the invoice, it gets paid, they run away with the cash.  Nobody gets helped.

And what has this to do with web design?  Not a lot, but does having something to do with putting in place the correct systems to avoid these kind of rip-offs.  For example, no invoice to be paid without a matching Purchase Order, for starters, and a paper trail identifying every stage of a purchase.

We can help with that too, of course.

  • susan andrew 29 / Jul / 2014 at 12:30 pm

    I must admit at the age of 67 I am forgetful of some things ( always have been truth be told nothing to do with age) but I think even I would remember sponsoring something like this to the tune of £200 + v.a.t. She was very polite and proper and did not tell me to F*** off when I told her I would check with my partner and she could ‘phone me back. Is there not a law against this? Surely there should be. Thank goodness I decided to check the net and thank goodness there was a link to this page.

  • Garry 8 / May / 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I just received a phone call much like you guys. Apparently I spoke to someone in September (now May 2014) saying I would sponsor this bullying book from books from school. Knowing I disagreed saying I would never into anything like this as we have curtailed any advertising and would certainly not sponsor anyone. I repeated this a few times, the gentleman disagreed with me. I asked for his direct phone number, that was blanked. After a short argument I said I have not said this he said he would get the man I spoke to 6 months ago to call me back as we had a verbal agreement and he was going to send out the invoice tomorrow.

    I look forward to his phone call after reading about this and will be sure to ask for

  • Claire @ Little Stomper 9 / Jan / 2013 at 9:51 am

    Thank you for posting this. I have just got this call, and was TOTALLY confused, because there is no way I would have agreed to sponsor the money over a phonecall. I have just asked them to call back in a few hours, and now I have this, they’re going to get a bollocking!!!

  • Mr G Lucas 18 / Nov / 2008 at 7:41 am

    I have been subject to a similar scam whereby every year, for the past 5 years a company scam has been in operation. Every year generally around November time a phone call is recieved whereby the gentleman who is very friendly and confident informs you that the books you have ordered are ready and that he would like to know what message you would like put on the books for the little kiddies. When you state that you have never ordered any books the male becomes aggressive and informs you that an outstanding invoice is in existence of about £300-£800 the amount changes every year and when you say you are not going to pay the amount because you have never ordered any books, immediately you are threatened with court action and threatened with prison before christmas. I have just joined the federeation of small businesses and they are aware of the scam and advised to ask for the directors name which they stated was a Mark Wilson and to get the address but they were reluctant to give that information as i had already stated my intentions to report it to the police, which has been done within SWP, when I stated we would take their company to court for deception the caller hung up, suprisingly enough. The caller year on year normally phones from a witheld nember but this year he called from number 07595505976. This school book scam is clearly working as they would not be operating year after year if nobody was paying them out of duress.