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Birmingham Erdington MP Sion Simon is to question Secretary of State, Patricia Hewitt TODAY (Thursday) on action being taken to deter fraudulent claims being perpetrated against small businesses.

This issue has been raised by members of Business Over Breakfast Clubs that include businesses based in Mr Simon's Erdington Constituency and in neighbouring Sutton Coldfield.

Members of small companies are being targeted weekly - and in some cases daily, by fraudsters purporting to act on behalf of children's charities, web site designers and even Government bodies - such as the Information Commissioner.

'Dead letter' drops are often used to harvest cheques from unsuspecting businesses.

The National Director of Business Over Breakfast Clubs, Geoff Cox said,
'The scale and extent of the frauds are massive. It is a national scandal, most of which goes under-reported. Millions of pounds are being lost - and the good nature of business people ruthlessly exploited.'

Ray Woods, a self-employed Birmingham businessman said,
I get an average of at least one attempted scam per week - mainly by telephone, but sometimes in writing. Every local business that I speak to has the same experience. It makes you very cynical - and real charities and good causes are suffering as a result.'

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