Following correspondence by the director of the Parliamentary Review, Daniel Yossman I have made some small changes to this following blog as he was threatening to take me and my company to Court. It seemed easier to make the changes:
Small businesses like the one I work for receive hundreds of items of postal and email correspondence every week from people purporting to want to help us grow our business, most of which are pure lies or deep exaggeration and get quickly discarded. However occasionally something arrives that makes you stop and think, and not always in a good way. Yesterday was one of those days when my colleague, Peter received this letter. It was on paper of a similar colour to the letters that come from Parliament, however it was clearly a much lower quality piece of paper. On top of that it [gave me the impression of being] was a cheap attempt to appear to be printed on letter head and then hand signed and addressed by Eric Pickles, even though this was just another font using a different colour ink. On the surface it appeared to be a scam letter, albeit very creative in its approach. Two other details are the fact that it claimed we had received a copy of the Parliamentary Review, which we certainly didn’t and then the list of names at the end of the penultimate paragraph. As it happens none of us are big football fans, but why is the name of Frank Lampard included on a matter relating to the Government when the rest of the names are Pickles, Blunkett, Clegg and Gove and Andrew Neil?
We did a bit more digging, Peter checked out this Daily Mirror posting from the 1st February and we discovered that one business contacted the review and was requested to make a contribution of £3,500 to be involved in the event. I checked out this website which is the one that is formed by the same people who claim to write this letter. It seems strange that the address on the letter and the address on the website are different even if the phone numbers are the same.
So then the final and perhaps in one sense the most significant matter, given that this is not
exactly a pure scam, although it is clearly close to it. How did the Parliamentary Review get hold of my colleagues name and address, bearing in mind we sign up to almost every way of blocking junk mail we can find. If as the letter suggests, Eric Pickles has previously sent us a copy of the Parliamentary Review (which he hasn’t) then following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation at the end of last month, how come we didn’t receive a message asking us if we were happy to stay on their list which we didn’t? I have written to our local MP to ask her if she can shed any light on this. The response so far was a warning that it would take 4 weeks for her to respond to the email.
Let us hope that Eric Pickles and David Blunkett read this and then withdraw their support from this
very poor quality attempt to get small businesses to pay for their drinks parties and a document referred to as a Parliamentary Review which was not [received by] sent to our business so it may not even exist.