Celebrity Chefs Become Victims of Identity Cloning Scam


Several well-known UK chefs and restaurants have fallen victim to an identity theft scam, according to BBC News. Fraudsters have been cloning the names of establishments such as Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner, Yotam Ottolenghi’s Ottolenghi, and the Ritz Hotel, and using them to open bank accounts and apply for loans. Over 750 fake companies have been registered in the past six weeks, often with slightly misspelled names. Companies House, the UK’s central registry of companies, has launched an investigation into the matter. The fraudsters are able to steal money from bank accounts set up in the name of the cloned companies and order high-value goods from suppliers. Companies House currently only requires a small fee to register a business online, without conducting thorough checks.

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