A company called "The Emergency Services (Media Dept) Limited" that falsely claimed to be linked to the emergency services in an attempt to convince small businesses in to placing adverts in its publications has been wound up in the High Court following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Telesales operators from the company would cold call small businesses across the country and claim to be "connected" to the Police or other emergency services and then try to sell advertising space in a magazine, with the funds raised allegedly going to support these services. In reality these funds were largely destined for the owners and no one else.

We have previously covered how unpaid invoice spammers target credit control failures using an archaic .arj file to spread malicious software, but a new and considerably more dangerous threat has just started to land in inboxes throughout the UK and across the globe.

This latests threat is more insidious as it uses a well known file format to deliver a malicious payload specifically designed to steal sensitive financial data from users.

The zombie apocalypse could be coming sooner than you think, with R3, the Association of Business Recovery Professionals, warning that an even greater number of companies are now showing the hallmarks of being 'zombies'.

It's a term that rose to prominence at the height of the recession, and was used to refer to those firms capable of covering their outgoings, but only just - and which would therefore very quickly fall into insolvency if their interest rates rose, or their cash flow was interrupted.

A dairy-free chocolatier was forced to threaten supermarket giant Tesco with a winding-up petition after they failed to pay for part of their order for five months - leaving him without his staff's Christmas wages.

Moo Free Chocolates produce dairy-free and gluten-free confectionery, with an annual turnover of around £1 million.

But when a £2 million order came in from Tesco, co-founder Mike Jessop was understandably excited.

If you deal with customers in the Americas - including not just the USA, but also Canada, Mexico and Brazil - you should be aware of the increased likelihood of a very late payment becoming an uncollectable bad debt.

According to a report from credit insurers Atradius, a whopping 52% of the most overdue payments in the region are simply never collected, compared with 35% in Europe.

Credit control failures are a worry at the best of times, and none of us want to be left with overdue invoices to chase - or with unpaid invoices of our own that become subject to debt recovery action with interest and penalties added on top.

But a lax approach to credit control has taken a new turn in recent days, as a large number of spam emails have started circulating which claim to be chasing overdue invoices.

The Scottish Question is about to be answered, and whether the majority vote Yes or No, changes are on the horizon for the Scottish economy and for those of us labelled rUK, short for either the 'rest of the UK' or more disparagingly, the 'remnant UK'.

We're not arguing in favour of either viewpoint - that's for the Scottish public to decide - but it's important that English businesses should be aware of the ramifications that may arise from a vote either way.

Whether you're in business on your own, or part of a company, it's essential to protect your income - and one of the greatest areas of risk is when you extend a line of credit to a customer.

Remember, any time you carry out work, or provide goods or services, without taking payment upfront, you are effectively investing in your customers company.

When working with clients who are based overseas, there are several things you should take into account - ideally, from the moment you begin working for them, rather than later in the process when you encounter a previously unconsidered obstacle.

Here are some of the main issues at hand, and how you can work around them, or even with them, to make the best possible client relationship.

Making sure you get paid promptly every time, without fail, is about more than just issuing invoices promptly (although that can help).

There are several ways to increase your chance of receiving payment in full and on time - and here are some of the main points to consider.

Hitting the Headlines: Safe Collections in the Guardian

in About Safe Collections by Adam Home
If you're a Guardian reader, you may have seen Safe Collections' collections and partnerships manager Adam Home quoted in a Guardian Professional article on May 12th. Tim Aldred's piece looked at the case for credit control teams as a way for businesses to…

Hitting The Headlines: The Independent on Sunday

in About Safe Collections by Adam Home
In 2009 our founder and Managing Director was interviewed for a piece in The Independent On Sunday, this article is reproduced below with their kind permission. in 2009 we still went by our original name of Creditsafe Ltd, whilst our name may have changed our…