Businesses beware, bogus Environmental Health Officers and Licensing Officers have visited businesses across Essex, issuing fake on the spot fines for non-compliance and asking for annual fee payments in cash.
The Council has received 3 reports of individuals falsely presenting themselves as Epping Forest District Council Environmental Health Officer’s to food establishments within the Waltham Abbey area.
The imposters demanded the business owners pay fines for not complying with regulations.
Licenced businesses within Essex have also received visits from individuals pretending to be Council Licensing Officers, requesting licence fees be paid in cash.
These people are very convincing as they know how much your licence is and they also use the names of real licensing officers.
Real Council Officers
Real Environmental Health Officers and any of the Council’s Licensing or Enforcement Officers will be happy to let you see their badges to check their identity.
On the back of their badges, you will find a list of their authorisations and a telephone number, which you can call to verify they are who they say they are. Remember you are well within your rights to request to check their authorisations and be especially careful if they do not allow you to do this.
Environmental Health Officers and Licensing Officers will not ask you to pay an on the spot fine or take cash from you.
If a scammer calls
If you are in any doubt as to whether someone demanding money from you is legitimate, you should contact the Council as soon as possible to check his or her identity. Do not pay them.
If you suspect you have been visited by a bogus caller please contact the Council and the Police as soon as possible.
- Contact Licensing with the details – 01992 564034 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact Environmental Health with the details – 01992 564608 / email@example.com
- Report the matter to the police. In an emergency dial 999, otherwise report incidents to Essex Police on 101
- Save any CCTV you have of this person to help the police