Grower show exhibitor listing scam steps up a gear

A buyers guide scam has stepped up its harassment of trade show exhibitors by sending letters purporting to be from a Cyprus-based credit collection agency and by calling UK businesses demanding more than US $4,000 for inclusion in an 'Expo Guide' they never agreed to be part of.

Worcestershire-based Gardeners Kitchen has received a threatening ‘legal letter for court reference’ from debt management agency ‘International Credit Assessment Agency’ demanding $4,713 plus expenses and legal fees within three working days.

The letter is signed by ICAA senior credit manager Helen Simpson with an address in Limassol, Cyprus.

A second letter from the same source demands 2,596.07 euros for inclusion in the guide, which has been the source of many complaints from UK companies in recent years.

The letter demands cash be paid into a Spanish account.

A Gardeners’ Kitchen representative said: "Every year we get an invoice and every year we throw it in the bin. But this year we have had three emails from International Credit Assessment Agency and a phone call as well threatening us with legal notices. They’ve changed their tack and it’s quite threatening really."

Several companies have contacted HW after receiving emails after appearing in the Four Oaks trade show guide saying they owed money for listing in the Expo Guide. Four Oaks organiser Pat Coutts warned exhibitors to be on their guard.

She said Dutch grower AB Buxus has been sent a copy of an order form which has a signature believed to be a copy, which is similar to UK sales manager Andrew van der Werf.

Coutts added: "They have become more aggressive recently and are really frightening these exhibitors. How can they get away with it?"

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