Firms warned over con artist

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BUSINESSES in Mansfield are being warned to be vigilant against a con artist claiming to be chasing council rent payments.

Two companies contacted Mansfield District Council on Friday after receiving a call from a woman who demanded money and used the name of a former employee from the authority’s Finance Department.

Both businesses, which do rent property from the council, declined to make the payment, contacted the council and the incidents have since been reported to police.

Mick Andrews, the authority’s head of finance, property and revenue services, said: “These incidents are especially concerning because the con artist used the name of a former employee who did, occasionally, contact businesses regarding their rent account.

“It is fairly rare for us to telephone a firm about outstanding rent on a council business premises and we will always send an official invoice and reminder first.

“If any business has any doubt about the authenticity of a caller from Mansfield District council we would urge them to check by telephoning the council.

“Never agree to make a payment unless you are absolutely sure you are talking to a bone fide employee.”

The authority now wants to hear from any other businesses which have been targeted and anyone who is concerned should contact Mansfield 463 398.