Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Sent on the sort of light grey paper often associated with genuine VAT correspondence, the letter asks companies to check and update their details.

However, as the small print at the bottom of the accompanying information sheet reveals, what businesses are actually signing is an order form for expensive advertising at an annual charge of £797.

The order form, almost identical to those used in previous scams, states that German law applies, and further explains that the order applies for the next three years with subsequent extensions if not cancelled by a stated deadline.

As countless previous ATG reports have explained, experience tells us that any attempt to cancel the order is ignored and followed by further demands for money and the paid-for listings all but useless.

The organisation listed at the bottom of the order form, TW Tele Verzeivhnis Verlag GmbH, operate from the same building in Hamburg as TVV Verlag, the subject of previous complaints over similar letters linked to a Fax directory.

It is the same organisation linked earlier this year to another scam.

Other web alerts show that businesses in the Netherlands have also been targeted.