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Con artists selling bogus food and alcohol licences to Hackney traders

PUBLISHED: 16:28 20 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:40 20 November 2017

An example of the sham licences being sold by con artists. Picture: Hackney Council

An example of the sham licences being sold by con artists. Picture: Hackney Council

Archant

Traders in Hackney have been getting duped into paying hundreds of pounds for bogus food and booze licences.

Con artists have been targeting businesses whose existing licences are set to expire and telling bosses to pay cash to renew it – or face court action.

Shops often display the licence and the date they expire and the fraudsters are using this as a way to carry out the scam.

At least three businesses have fallen for it, including a fishmonger in Well Street, which paid £280, and a shop in Stoke Newington, which paid £180.

Hackney Council’s crime chief Cllr Caroline Selman, said: “I hope the police catch these scammers who are taking advantage of honest business owners. Council officers do not demand cash payments. If anyone is asked for cash by someone claiming to be a council officer they should ask to see ID, refuse the payment, keep any CCTV footage and report it.”

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