Licensing scam alert

Published: 22 September 2017

The council’s licensing team is warning town centre businesses to be on the look out for a scammer purporting to be a licensing officer.

The team has received several complaints from local licensed premises including hairdressers and off licences about a man, pretending to be a member of the licensing team, claiming their licences have run out and they need to give him money to renew them.

The man, who calls himself Chris, is a white man with dark hair and a beard and was wearing a grey suit when he visited the shops in the High Street. He appears to show some kind of ID badge and states he is from Slough Borough Council’s licensing team, though shows no other credentials.

He pretends the council cannot take the licence renewal money at the customer service centre and suggests they hand it straight to him.

Unfortunately a couple of shopkeepers fell for the scam before checking with the actual licensing team and ended up handing over up to £280 each.

The matter has been reported to the police, who are investigating.

Councillor Arvind Dhaliwal, cabinet member for regulation and consumer protection, said: “This man does not represent the council or the licensing team and though he may show some sort of ID, it is not proper council ID and nor does he have a warrant card, which all our licensing officers carry.

“We urge shopkeepers not to engage with this scammer and to immediately report the matter to the police if they are approached.”

He added: “We take impersonation of council staff very seriously and are working closely with the police to catch this man.”