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Guardian backs OFT in closure of ‘look alike’ debt advice websites

Guardian Debt Management has backed the Office of Fair Trading in its decision to force the immediate closure of 11 financial management businesses with ‘look alike’ websites posing as official or charity advice sites.

The OFT has told the companies to stop using the trading names immediately and for those companies who were trading without a licence to stop trading completely or face prosecution.

The OFT is also working closely with internet service providers to ensure that the websites are taken down promptly.

David McCann, managing director at Guardian Debt Management, says: “It’s great to see the OFT take such decisive action on websites that are preying on vulnerable consumers who may be in need of real help. The sector needs to highlight and rid itself of these perpetrators in order to move forward and try and address those people with real problems in the right way.

“Situations can change very quickly and it may only take the smallest change in circumstance to tip the balance and send finances spiralling out of control. With mass job cuts predicted for 2009 the future looks bleak for those with any existing or potential financial concerns.

“Whilst people with any financial concerns should seek appropriate help we are urging people to check that firms are in possession of a consumer credit licence before dealing with anyone in this field.”

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