SEVERAL Cotswold businesses have reported a scam caller claiming to be from an official fire service magazine.

The Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) control centre has received several reports from concerned business owners about unsolicited calls from a man attempting to sell advertising space in a fictitious magazine being produced by GFRS.

Businesses who have been contacted have not committed to a contract, but have agreed to allow the caller to send them a dummy copy of an advert to see what it would look like. The scammers have then used this to try to say the business has agreed to a full contract.

The fire service, and Gloucestershire County Council stress neither would cold call businesses or members of the public, and any calls made by staff would be follow ups after people contacted them directly.

Residents who have reported these calls have so far all hung up without sharing information, and the details have been passed on to trading standards who will be carrying out an investigation.

Stewart Edgar, chief fire officer at Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “If you receive a phone call like these, please just hang up.

“There is no fire service magazine in Gloucestershire so you can be sure it’s a bogus call.

“Our advice is to not disclose any personal information, hang up the phone and report it.”

Andy Hermiston, deputy chief fire officer and head of trading standards at Gloucestershire County Council, added: “We receive enquiries from businesses every year regarding cold calls with the offer of purchasing advertising space in publications endorsed or affiliated to well known organisations and charities.

“You should wait at least five minutes before reporting a suspicious phone call to ensure you’re not reconnected to the scam caller.”

To report a call report it to the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.