I received an unsolicited email from a company I have never heard of, called Spencer Humphries [warning — do not fill out their form!].
It was sent to my business email address. I have no idea who these people are, have no relationship with them. The subject line was, “Staying Alive (UK) Ltd — R&D Tax Credits Qualification”, which is indeed the correct company name. They must get the list from somewhere. See the main image below included in the email.
It’s potentially a scam. Why do I say this? Well, there appears to be a legitimate company behind this. Upon further investigation I found the following clues.
- The email is not from a real person
- It doesn’t address me by name
- The sender’s email just says email@example.com
- The company doesn’t exist on LinkedIn and in fact has hardly any info on the web
- Performance Digital Marketing has no existence anywhere either
All of these clues are highly suspicious.
There was one other pretty big clue and that was the address on the Mailchimp unsubscribe page.
Viking Street, Bolton
Bolton, Lancashire BL3 2RR
When I did a search for that address, the first company that actually came up was ‘More Than Accountants’, so could this be the very same company, pretending to be Spencer Humphries?
So I called them, there is a number on their website and I asked the question and at first they weren’t sure, but as the person who answered the call repeated the name out loud someone in the background confirmed that it was a resounding yes. I asked for the person to confirm and they said yes again.
That’s all I needed. I have provided all this information, including the email to Mailchimp for their investigation. They confirmed to me they had located the account and were investigating it further. I have also reported it to the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office).
Fingers crossed there will be a stop put to this extremely bad practice by More Than Accountants.