This fraud is where criminals pretend to be a well-known UK retailer and order goods from suppliers (usually overseas). The goods are delivered but payment is never made as it’s the criminals who received the delivery.
A recent example of this fraud was perpetrated on Moon Buggy which is a German company making child buggies.
Moon Buggy were contacted by a man they believed to be the purchasing director for John Lewis and they sent him 2 lorry loads of buggies worth £214,000 to a warehouse in South London.
They should have noticed that the man’s email address wasn’t @johnlewis.co.uk but @johnliwes.com and they should have checked he was the real deal but they didn’t check sufficiently and are out of pocket for a serious amount of money.
The Police response to the crime was not convincing and Eddie Prendergast working in the UK for Moon Buggy started to search for the stolen prams.
He found them on sale on eBay and bought one so he could check the serial number – he had found the stolen prams. He identified names and addresses of the sellers and reported this to the Police.
Again, little response from the Police – just ongoing investigations.
There are numerous examples of this distribution fraud – always make sure to verify who you’re talking to where shipments of any kind are concerned.
If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.