Beware of Scam!

telephone small business scam cartoonThis is a scam warning to any small business owners reading this. A company called Vardis is cold-calling Irish businesses offering advertising in directories for the benefit of a charity called Foresters Fund for Children. I was called this morning. They don’t identify who they are and the whole thing is like a Derren Brown mind-control exercise- everything is kept very vague and delivered in a very sweet tone of voice. I smelled a rat and politely hung up after taking their name and the charity’s name. I googled their name and found this forum, full of the gory details of this scam.
For example:

“I have been involved in an argument with Vardis since 2003 they are without a doubt a complete group of charletans the company has been persuing me for £464.13 for an advertisement which apparently I agreed to in 2003 for an advert in the Forresters Fund For Children Publication. On Numerous occasions I have contacted their office asking for details of the advert I “placed” none has been forthcoming, on the 22nd January I recieved a letter from Crown Debt Recovery telling me that I would be persusued through Livepool County Court for the Money
Liverpool County Court have never heard of Crown Debt Recovery!
Crown Debt Recovery are owned by the same people as Vardis
Crown Debt recovery are nort a regisered debt collection agency and have no licence as such.”

Nice bunch of people. And this is from the Daily Mirror’s website:


A WORD of advice if you’re asked to “donate” towards a handbook for the Foresters’ Fund for Children – DON’T.

The Fund is a genuine children’s charity, but the booklet is published by a commercial Merseyside operation called Vardis.

The Fund told us donations were split “50/50”.

A spokesman explained: “We get 12.5 per cent, and Vardis gets 12.5 per cent.”

According to our abacus, that’s 25 per cent.

What about the rest? “That goes to Vardis as well, that’s their costs.”

So if Vardis calls and you didn’t agree to donate, or it didn’t explain how the cash is divided, just say get stuffed. ”

So don’t fall for this scam: if someone rings about advertising do not agree to anything, ask who they are; and if they’re Vardis, hang up.

7 thoughts on “Beware of Scam!”

  1. I agreed to an advert but when i found there was no work and after phoning half the advertisers and finding they had, had no custom at all I reported them to trading standards they said write to vardis and tell them because there was no proof of any advert in the public domain that vardis are in breach of contract and you do not have to pay, that was october 2009, 24th feb 2010 i have had a letter from a company called cdr crown debt recovery saying there are going to take me to court when i searched them on the net other people are saying don’t pay as they are the same company, can anyone advise me what to do. I have until 8th march they say.

  2. Thanks Geoff. Sorry you got burned by these mongrels. I think word is spreading about these scams and more people are getting wise to Vardis and similar scammers.

  3. Vardis are bullies and will probably be closed down soon like loads of other charity publishers have. Stay away from them; I was conned by them last year and won’t go near another charity publisher again.
    Another one to watch out for is Chestnut House they print wall planners for the Honeyrose Foundation. I believe these people have been closed down twise by the DTI when they were know as Barrington House and also Hamilton Forbes, they used to print wall planners for the Children’s Research Fund and if you type their names into and you can read exactly why they were closed down.

  4. Thanks, that’s actually where I found the first quote above. I’ve heard of several people falling for this since I posted this article. In fact I’ve even come across variations on the theme from other “companies”. It’s really no different to the Nigerian scam that’s being doing the rounds for years. Why not try an honest day’s work Vardis?

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