Shamed Scots 'influencer' behind bogus sales firms shunned by brands who rubbish claims she worked for them

By Craig Robertson

Leading fashion brands have rubbished claims from a disgraced social media influencer that she works for them.

Zara, Asos and Pretty Little Thing say they’ve got nothing to do with Yvonne McCuaig, whose illegal business practices were exposed by the Sunday Mail.

She’s the joint boss of a sales firm – called Dial A Deal Scotland Ltd – that we revealed has pestered people with more than half a million unlawful cold calls.

The 43-year-old makes no mention of her sales job on Instagram, where she claimed she makes an “amazing” income promoting and working for a series of top brands to her 87,000 followers. But the companies involved said they’d never heard of her.

A Zara spokeswoman said: “Zara has never worked with this individual.”

Yvonne McCuaig was unmasked by the Sunday Mail (Instagram)

Pretty Little Thing said: “We do not work with Yvonne in a paid or gifting capacity.”

And Asos said: “We don’t work with this individual.”

A source in the fashion industry said: “A lot of these brands have a particular type of profile they’d like to work with to promote their brand. Asos target people in their 20s and wouldn’t work with someone like Yvonne.

“Brands will also look at someone’s social media posts, their values and the type of lifestyle they lead and Yvonne won’t fit with any of these brands.”

McCuaig has refused to comment on her call centre scandal, did not return messages left for her and has not been seen at her apartment in Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute.

Communications watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) last week fined Dial A Deal Scotland Ltd £150,000 for breaking laws on contacting people who had signed their numbers up to the Telephone Preference Service.

It’s against strict legislation for marketing and sales firms to contact a number listed on that register.

Dial A Deal Scotland – which McCuaig jointly owns with Calum Kirkpatrick, 27, from Glasgow – had staff make 558,000 of those banned calls.

Dial A Deal’s base in Glasgow (UGC)

The ICO found they set up bogus firms, such as Green Alliance and Green Funding Team, to try to sell householders non-existent government grants. They also used “spoof” numbers so they couldn’t be called back or traced.

More than 500 complaints were made.

McCuaig and Kirkpatrick tried to have the firm struck off the register at Companies House, which the ICO believes was to try to avoid paying the fine.

That move was blocked by the ICO.

It said: “The company still has until September 24 to pay. The ICO takes robust action to recover fines issued for serious breaches and, if this results in liquidation, we ensure our rights as an unsecured creditor are fully exercised.”

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