Warning on bogus Environmental Health Officers

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14 Oct 2016

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Police and council officials have issued a warning to businesses to be on their guard for impostors fraudulently claiming to be environmental health or trading standards officers.

The warning, from Trafford Council and Greater Manchester Police (Trafford South), follows an incident in which a woman posing as an environmental health officer entered a restaurant and carried out an “inspection”. The woman then declared the premise to be unhygienic and stated she was going to "close it down". Trafford Council and Greater Manchester Police (Trafford South) have confirmed the woman was an impostor. There have been other reported cases of imposters fraudulently claiming to be environmental health or trading standards officers in Solihull, London and Lincolnshire, with the motive seeming to be some sort of financial gain or extortion. In the latest case, police and council officials have been unable to confirm the motives of the woman, who has not as yet been apprehended, but possible lines of enquiry are said to include a personal vendetta. In a statement, Trafford Council said, “It is a criminal offence to impersonate an environmental health officer or a trading standards officer. If an officer calls at your business, always ask to see ID and never be afraid to ring [the] Council to check them out.” The Council said that fraud can also be reported through the police website at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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