People struggling to have their names and home addresses removed from bogus firms registered at United Kingdom’s Companies House by fraudsters
People are struggling to have their names and home addresses removed from bogus firms registered at Companies House by fraudsters. Experts warn that fake information posted on the official register of UK companies is leading to small firms being scammed out of thousands of pounds.
Last month, The Mail on Sunday reported that tens of thousands of people are unknowingly having firms set up in their name by fraudsters who shockingly use the details to take out loans or swindle consumers.
Despite promises by the Government to beef up its powers, Companies House appears to be powerless to check the veracity of information supplied by those forming a new firm. As a result, its register is littered with false data. Since our report, we have been deluged with correspondence from victims and experts worried at the inability of Companies House to tackle this mountain of fraudulent information.
Scam: Tens of thousands of people are unknowingly having firms set up in their name by fraudsters who shockingly use the details to take out loans or swindle consumers
The boss of credit reference firm Company Watch warns that lack of trust in the information on which companies decide whether to extend credit to buyers can have an adverse impact on trade.
She says better collection of data would help, adding: ‘Revenue & Customs and Companies House do not always work together. That means a firm can file one set of accounts to the Revenue to make it look as if it did not make a profit and so does not need to pay tax.
‘It then sends another set of accounts to Companies House that make it look profitable so it is able to borrow credit.
‘Also, as a result of poor quality data, a company can have a county court judgment against it without this appearing on the public record.’ On Friday, Companies House said there were 4.7million companies on the register and that the vast majority abide by the law, though it admits that UK corporate entities are used to enable fraud, and says it is working closely with law enforcement agencies to tackle it.
It added: ‘Basic checks are undertaken on any documents received to make sure that they have been fully completed and signed. But we do not have the statutory power to verify the accuracy of the information filed.’
By RACHEL RICKARD STRAUS, FINANCIAL MAIL ON SUNDAY
Source: UK Financial Mail on Sunday