12:55PM, Thursday 07 August 2014
A leading Chamber of Commerce member has said it is 'worrying' that business rates cheques sent to the Royal Borough were cashed by a third party.
Police have launched an investigation after it was revealed by the Windsor Chamber of Commerce on Monday, July 28, that at least two cheques made out to 'RBWM' and sent to council offices in Maidenhead were intercepted and cashed by somebody else.
The Royal Borough contacted the businesses to say they had not paid their rates, but the money had been withdrawn from their respective accounts.
It is believed the amount cashed through these intercepted cheques is in the region of many thousands of pounds.
Peter Sands, who has run RH Sands and Sons furniture store in Queen Street since 1966, said: "It's worrying that if you made your cheque out to RBWM that it could be cashed by somebody else."
Peter, who is a member of the Maidenhead & District Chamber of Commerce, recommended caution when writing cheques, as they can be fraudulently cashed.
He added: "Unless the cheques are for a large amount its goes through on the nod. They [banks] hardly look at it. You have to be careful.
"I would recommend direct debit, but I understand that some people do not do direct debit because of cash flow reasons. When people do not want to pay until they have the money in the bank."
Amanda Gee, chairman of Windsor's chamber, recommends writing the cheques out to 'The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead' instead of RBWM. This, she says, will prevent third parties from cashing them.
A spokeswoman from the Royal Borough confirmed that some cheques sent to the council had 'gone missing' and police are investigating.
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