Juniors conned into handing goods to 'journalist'

PR companies were this week urged to be alert after police were called in to investigate how a fake journalist obtained goods by deception.

The man is alleged to have obtained expensive items from a London-based consumer agency, and from the in-house team at a luxury goods company. He targeted junior PROs to order products – for photoshoots and testing – that he failed to return.

He is also claimed to have behaved aggressively, threatening to complain to management, clients and on blogs if account handlers did not comply.

The mystery man claimed to work for a magazine, which later confirmed to have no knowledge of him. Its publisher last week
issued him with a legal letter urging him to desist.

Redbridge CID is investigating the matter but no arrests have yet been made.

The PRCA has urged account handlers to cease any conversation or relationship that becomes abusive.

If faced with a suspicious caller, details should be cross-referenced with media databases and, if necessary, verified by calling the publication directly.

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