A well-respected family business based in Leyland is ‘desperate for help’ after phone hackers ran up a near £6,000 bill.
Rimmers Music, which has a shop on Chapel Brow and its headquarters in Centurion Industrial Estate in Farington, has reached crisis-point after being targeted by hackers earlier this month.
Company secretary Cathy Tate, who runs the business with husband Gary, said: “We are looking at a bill of £5773 with nowhere to turn.
“We are a local family firm, and we’re desperate for someone to help, as our supplier won’t help, and neither will the police.”
Mrs Tate says the premium rate calls, believed to be from a company based in the Pacific, were made over one weekend - and the crooks ran up a bill equivalent to eight months of calls for Rimmers, which has other shops in the North West.
Mrs Tate says she has turned to the police and a fraud hotline, but there is nothing they can do, and her supplier, Peach Telecom, is insisting it is her responsibility to pay the mammoth bill.
“We reported it as soon as we knew about it,” she said. “It was a Monday morning and we got a call from Peach to say that there had been some unusual activity on our phone lines.
“When we checked our bills online, we were absolutely horrified.
“Our normal call spend for the whole month is only £900 and that’s for all of our stores (we have seven musical instrument stores throughout the North West, as well as our head office in Farington).
“Peach barred the calls from continuing, but they still say it’s our responsibility to pay.
“I’m worried they might take legal action against us if we don’t pay, but we haven’t accounted for that money at all; we haven’t got that kind of cash spare.
“It’s hard enough to keep our heads above water these days. It’s very worrying.”
Rimmers Music Group was established in 1978 and also holds music classes and events in Leyland.
A spokesman for Peach Telecom said the firm was unable to comment on individual cases, and that communications were continuing between the firm and the customer.