England Commercial Register Scam

Thank you to Chris who sent me a copy of the England Commercial Register scam letter (a copy of which is below), relating to the Commercial Register scam. This scam has many different guises (see Scottish Commercial Register scam and England Commercial Register Scam) but the way it works is almost identical.

Basically, the people behind the England Commercial Register scam are based in Spain and send a letter to companies (usually sole traders and small businesses) hoodwinking people into signing a letter which looks official. Once you’ve signed, they send you a bill for advertising on their websites.

First of all, let’s take a look at the general layout of the letter. It certainly attempts to look official. Let’s have a look at some of the points in more detail.

A – ‘Publication of Companies’ gives the impression it is related to Companies House

B – ‘Filing Deadline’ attempts to give the impression that the document has to be returned by a specific date to ensure a listing occurs

C – ‘Removal of your Company Details’ suggests that you have something to lose. Actually, you only have a lot of time to waste by completely the form!

D – The opening paragraph suggests that you have some official deadline to meet

E – The final paragraph, which contains confirmation that this is a private company, is in the middle of the paragraph. It also confirms that Direct Publisher at targeting businesses and not private individuals. This is because Direct Publisher know that the law provides much more protection to private individuals rather than businesses.

Note: there has been some suggestion that you could send the pre-addressed envelope back to Direct Publisher full of rubbish. Don’t waste your time as Royal Mail have confirmed they won’t forward it on.

England Commercial Register letter
England Commercial Register letter


ritchiehicks Author



    (13th October 2016 - 11:22)

    We just receivced the same letter, S@!t myself when I unopened at first!


      (14th December 2016 - 12:21)

      received the same letter today from chief editor 732/173cx, what joke. Pays to search before you sign any documents 🙂

    Julie Naylor

    (17th October 2016 - 14:39)

    Same here, just received the exact same letter. Thought it was official until I read it; had to laugh when I noticed it was signed off by the ‘Chef Editor’

    Jill morgan

    (25th October 2016 - 07:33)

    Hi. We to have been scammed,

    Louise Hunt

    (25th October 2016 - 12:06)

    We received the same letter. So glad I googled it. It looks official but there are spelling/grammatical errors, the best of which is the signature Chef editor! I have put it in the bin!

    Mark Scott

    (4th December 2016 - 11:23)

    Just received one of these, and had a very good laugh, knew it was a scam, England commercial register and admin in France, and signed off by the Chef editor!! Please I have been in business to long for this rubbish


      (4th December 2016 - 11:45)

      Sadly, there are many who haven’t. Thanks for sharing your experience.

      Nigel Starkey - TaxAssist Accountants

      (10th February 2017 - 12:33)

      it’s ‘too’ ……

      Point is that people still fall for these scams in every guise. I get fed up advising my clients of these and just cannot believe how people sign forms – send them off – and then ask someone like myself what it was for afterwards.


    (5th December 2016 - 09:39)

    thank you for informing me about this scam.

    what now i am going to do is return the post paid envelop with a lot of junk inside to also increase the weight and the company gets surcharged by the post office.

    also it will benefit royal mail as i am a share holder

    everyone should do the same as in a small way it will also create a job for the post man


      (5th December 2016 - 09:53)

      fantastic idea, will do the same


      (5th December 2016 - 12:59)

      A few years ago we nearly fell for the same trick with ‘European City Guide’. Great idea Raj, one full envelope on it’s way to France.


      (6th December 2016 - 14:47)

      superb idea, I am doing the same

    deby carter

    (5th December 2016 - 10:49)

    Had one too. Glad I found this site, although wouldn’t have replied as it looked fishy anyway.

    drew wilkins

    (5th December 2016 - 10:58)

    i got this today thought it was a scam so i too will be sending the pre paid envolope back with some karndean samples to make the wieght up


      (13th December 2016 - 11:38)

      Thanks to all for the info …. just filled mine with shredded paper !!

    Richard Trower

    (5th December 2016 - 12:42)

    Just received this letter today, another scam to con money out of small businesses, letter went straight in the bin

    Steve Smith

    (5th December 2016 - 12:58)

    Just do as I’ve done… put a post it note in the return envelope saying ‘Ho! Ho! Happy Christmas’ and put it back in the post to them. Isn’t it nice to speard some goodwill?

      Sue Brindley

      (5th December 2016 - 15:19)

      Just received this very letter today for our business. Noticed the reply envelop had a Spanish address and so got straight onto Google.
      Read to the very bottom and if signed and returned to them we would have agreed to pay up almost £1000 p.a!

      Sue Brindley

      (5th December 2016 - 15:21)

      Thanks Steve, I have done exactly that same as you, ho ho ho!


      (13th December 2016 - 12:36)

      Fantastic idea Raj.
      I’m going to do the same and a little bit extra by filling up the form with some funny notes they will love it

    Mark Finnegan

    (5th December 2016 - 13:07)

    Great idea Raj – I have just done the same. Managed to get the envelope weight up to 238g!


    (5th December 2016 - 13:08)

    Thanks for the info which was as I imagined.

    Being as there is a free post envelope in it and assume returning it would cost them, I sent the envelope back with no contents 😉




    (5th December 2016 - 13:12)

    received same letter today.
    thanks for warning.


    (5th December 2016 - 13:41)

    Just got one, did the same as Raj lol

    Kate Ntem

    (5th December 2016 - 14:19)

    The idiots just sent me the same letter. Did not bother to read but googled (as I always do with things like this). Thanks for this site and info. Advice taken Raj. Looking for something small and heavy to include. It will come to me shortly.

      Emma Ryan

      (6th December 2016 - 14:34)

      Kate put some blue tac and paper clips in it, that should weight it down a bit! I’m doing exactly the same with the letter I’ve received today.

        Iain baron

        (8th December 2016 - 15:07)

        Now blu tac I’m liking that got loads of it


    (5th December 2016 - 14:20)

    The idiots just sent me the same letter. Did not bother to read but googled (as I always do with things like this). Thanks for this site and info. Advice taken Raj. Looking for something small and heavy to include. It will come to me shortly.

    Nigel Bostock

    (5th December 2016 - 14:47)

    I had not heard of the “England Commercial Register” so when we got the letter I Googles it and up came your Scam information. Thank you for saving us from this scam.


    (5th December 2016 - 15:25)

    I work in a take away and being one of the only English In the shop i was asked about this letter after a quick Google search I found this page which allowed us to determine it was indeed this scam along with being sent from the “chef editor”, very usefull information thankyou


    (5th December 2016 - 15:57)

    You lot are so mean.
    I just sent a nice friendly printed note telling them to go forth and multiply, followed by Happy Christmas and few kisses. I also bulked it up with some junk mail.


    (5th December 2016 - 16:34)

    Got mine today, it wasthe ‘Best Regards’ bit that made me think ahh, 🙂

    Paul C

    (5th December 2016 - 20:29)

    I emptied my hole-punch clippings into the pre-paid envelope also. So when they pull out the junk mail it will be accompanied by a nice seasonal shower! Ho ho ho.


      (6th December 2016 - 09:31)

      I liked that idea, so I’ve shredded the letter and put in in the pre-paid envelope for them 🙂

    Claudia Oliver

    (6th December 2016 - 09:19)

    Thank you for posting this. Had mine today. I have tweeted to inform others too.


    (6th December 2016 - 09:59)

    I just sent back the blank form with the contents of my hole punch inside … should make a nice irritating mess when they open it 🙂


    (6th December 2016 - 10:30)

    Received the same today DO NOT file this in, it is a SCAM

    Do I Look Gullible?

    (6th December 2016 - 11:47)

    Just received one today, fortunately I have been the recipient of such letters in various guises over the years (nearly hoodwinked the first time) it looks dodgy to be honest – it went straight in the bin.

    Clare Weeks My-Studio Ltd

    (8th December 2016 - 10:12)

    If you are a new business and reading this in a hurry this could be quite convincing. Thankfully it sat in our admin pile and I googled it before completing. Thanks for sharing on this forum

    Iain baron

    (8th December 2016 - 14:58)

    Got mine through today and got filed under B1N, thought it was a bit scammy and gloopa proved me right again, as The enemy won’t let me be right at home the tinterweb wins again

    Loving Raj’ idea am loading it now



    (13th December 2016 - 09:05)

    Ohhhh shit nearly filled it in


    (13th December 2016 - 11:12)

    Received this letter today with the deadline being January 17. Thought it looked a bit suspect as I deal with everything that comes from HMRC/Companies House/Government. This just didn’t look right. Just want to say thanks for having this information available as it will surely stop others falling into the trap!


    (13th December 2016 - 11:26)

    Sand the same envelop back after filling with some heavy junk stuff so the scammer should pay some cost and royal mail should make some money.

    Chester Drawers

    (13th December 2016 - 13:12)

    Always put something heavy in the prepaid envelope and send it back to them.

    Phill Pain

    (13th December 2016 - 15:20)

    I received this today too.
    I hate scammers!

    So I sent my envelope back with some used coffee grinds in a zip lock bag.
    Hope thay choke on it!!!

    Rod Hardisty

    (13th December 2016 - 17:23)

    I’ve been caught by this company now they are sending me demands for payment. I only wish I’d seen all this before I signed and returned the form.

    I’ve no intension of paying plus I couldn’t afford it anyway.

    […] then post it in an envelop (included with the letter) which is addressed to a location in Spain. According to Goopla, once the perpetrators have received a signed letter from a business, they send that business a […]

    Buster Werkenback

    (15th December 2016 - 09:59)

    I used sellotape to attach their reply paid envelope to a old hardback book I was going to throw away. Should be nice and expensive!

    Graham Murphhy

    (19th December 2016 - 09:27)

    Yes, just received exact same letter. looked very dubious with it signed by Chef editor 732/173CX, so googled the company and found out the scam.


    (21st December 2016 - 14:20)

    Received this myself too…but missed a trick – I should have put a load of weighty rubbish in the pre-paid envelope and sent it back to them!


      (21st December 2016 - 14:23)

      Little point I’m afraid – Royal Mail won’t send it.

    John Chudleigh

    (29th December 2016 - 17:14)

    We have also received one. I remember something very similar many years ago ago going back to the late 90’s where I signed something and got lots of nasty letters demanding money. They close down and keep popping up. I don’t know how they are allowed to operate. If you receive do please report to actionfraud.police.co.uk which covers postal phishing. The more who do the more likely they are to do something about it. I will also send back with rude message and weighted junk.


      (12th January 2017 - 13:36)

      I will report this now. Good shout!


    (12th January 2017 - 13:31)

    We’ve received one of these letters too. Thought it seemed fishy, so googled it. Glad I did. Thanks for the heads up.

    Ha, it still says ‘Chef Editor’. Can’t believe I didn’t pick up on that.

    Do not be fooled! Chuck, it out.

      Charlie Thompson

      (5th March 2017 - 20:52)

      Thanks also, I googled it and it now says Compliance Dept not Chef Editor


    (10th February 2017 - 11:22)

    I’ve just received this letter too. I intend on posting back to them a blank folded card with lots of nice sparkly glitter inside!

    Nigel Starkey - TaxAssist Accountants

    (10th February 2017 - 12:44)

    You’ll all enjoy this and should shut the operation down until they turn up in another guise –

    I have a good printer friend – He has now replicated the prepaid envelope in exact detail – even down to the paper stock. We’ve had 5,000 printed off. Just now releasing them over a period of time ……

    We estimate that this will create around £3,000 of cost incurred.
    Just a bit of harmless fun eh?


    (10th February 2017 - 13:06)

    Just received a “similar” one. Looks like they’ve changed some of the details. Now just “Commercial Register” similar body text, filing deadline, etc. No signature as it suggests it has been processed electronically. Still Direct Publisher and still based in Madrid.


    (10th February 2017 - 19:32)

    just received a letter from the Commercial register today thought it was a scam straight away but i will send it back with a load of rubbish in.


    (11th February 2017 - 08:15)

    Just received the same letter but it’s been changed to “commercial register” and the formatting changed to look like a HMRC document. The great part is that it came with a prepaid envelope so I’ll stuff it full of junk and send it to them 🙂


    (16th February 2017 - 12:35)

    I stupidly filled this in and sent it back. I have now received an invoice.
    If this is a scam can i just never pay the money?


      (16th February 2017 - 16:12)

      Bit of a loaded question there…
      Personally I haven’t (and won’t) pay. What you do is up to you. But there is no record of anyone ever being taken to court over this.


    (19th February 2017 - 10:55)

    Hi thank you for posting this I found it very useful too after also receiving such a letter. Although they have changed the letter head slightly as well as the wording. I thought it strange as I have never had a form like this in all my time in business either. Hence googling the authenticity. Also reading the small print on the form it does state you are entering a contract for 3 years for them to advertise for you at a cost of £863 + VAT per year!!! outrageous. Can we not report these people???

    annabel grange

    (23rd February 2017 - 12:19)

    have reported them to the spanish consumers board – doubt if it will get anywhere ? http://www.ukecc-services.net/UnionofConsumersinSpain.cfm also to uk trading standards as i am fed up with them !!

    […] and then post it in an envelope (included with the letter) which is addressed to a location abroad. According to Goopla, once the perpetrators have received a signed letter from a business, they send that business a […]

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