The scams include fake companies giving their address as homes in Harrogate. The first homeowners knew was when they received a letter from Companies House about the ‘new’ business.
Constituents have also contacted Mr Jones about a company called Safe Hands Plans Ltd – a funeral plan company that collapsed in 2022 leaving thousands out of pocket. The company is subject to a criminal investigation.
Mr Jones raised these matters this week in the Commons with the Solicitor General Michael Tomlinson MP asking that they be a priority for Nick Ephgrave QPM, the new director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
In response the Solicitor General said:
I can tell my hon. Friend that the SFO announced a criminal investigation just last week into a suspected fraud at Safe Hands Plans, a funeral plan provider with 46,000 plan holders before its collapse last year. My hon. Friend has raised this very point during an earlier debate, and I am grateful to him for that. I am sure that he will agree that the announcement of the SFO’s investigation is a significant and welcome step.
Mr Jones commented:
I was pleased to hear that the Government is taking these issues seriously. A number of constituents, many elderly, have contacted me having lost out to these scam schemes or worried because they are getting letters from Companies House addressed to ghost businesses. In fact, the fake address scam featured on BBC Look North earlier this week as it has become so widespread.
Any constituents who have been subject to the fake business address scam can contact Andrew and he will raise it directly with Companies House and His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to help get the business de-registered.