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BUSINESS REGISTRATION RIP-OFF

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Oxfordshire CC Trading Standards Service has received several enquiries concerning companies that are approaching l...
Oxfordshire CC Trading Standards Service has received several enquiries concerning companies that are approaching local businesses and requesting payment for registration under the Data Protection Act 1998. Businesses are told that they have not notified the data protection registrar or the information commissioner, and warned that failing to register is a criminal offence. The companies then ask them to send money, varying from£95.00 to£111.63, with a form to the registration companies. They are given the impression that these companies are connected with the information commissioners office - the body that enforces the Data Protection Act 1998. In fact there is no connection whatsoever.

Brian Yendole, acting head of Oxfordshire trading standards service, said: 'I am concerned that businesses may be confused by the wording of the correspondence and misled into thinking this is the only way to register with the information commissioner. They can register directly with the information commissioner's office for an annual fee of£35. Any business which receives such a demand should contact the office of the information commissioner and check whether they are required to register.'

The trading standards service is also concerned that businesses may be asked to complete a registration form with potentially sensitive information, which these registration companies will see.

Cllr John Farrow, executive member for community safety at Oxfordshire CC added, 'Any business which has received such a communication and thinks it is misleading should contact the Trading Standards Service immediately. Don't pay any money without checking with the Information Commissioner.'

Notes

1. The Office of the Information Commissioner is at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Notification helpline telephone number: 01625 545740.

2. There is also information here

3. For further information contact Louise Hedger or Martin Allen on 01865 815000. Email: trading.standards@oxfordshire.gov.uk

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