The Independent Garage Association (IGA) is warning businesses to be aware of a new advertising scam.
The IGA report said that "scammers" calling garages claiming to be from a local newspaper jhad been attempting to take large payments for low-cost adverts as part of the fraud.
It said that the culprits usually know a lot about the business when they make their initial call, including staff names and they are targeting independent garages who have placed adverts in the newspaper.
The fraudster will then encourage the business to secure their advert by paying over a small amount, while attempting to take a large amount. In some cases the amount taken from the account has been thousands.
In all the cases that IGA has been made aware of, the bank has blocked the activity.
IGA’s head of member services, Terry Gibson, said: “This new scam is a reminder that we must all keep alert for the clues that tell us that something isn’t right.
"Scams are ever present and ever evolving and it’s thanks to our members alerting us that we can spread the word to prevent others from being caught out.”
The scam has been identified across the West Midlands, but it is likely that garages in other areas will be targeted before long.
If you’d like to report suspicious activity or a scam targeting independent garage businesses, please call the IGA on 0845 305 4230.