Category: Business

Fake Business Opportunity

There are numerous versions of this scam but a typical one is to offer a distributorship for some standard business product or a franchise for a successful business or a reseller opportunity.

The price is kept low so as entice people who are desperate to make money.

A typical example email:-

Hi,

I wanted to follow-up from last week.

28 year old U.S. company needs additional distributors world-wide.

US distributorships not available.

We make dangerous, slippery floors slip resistant and safer.

Our customers include McDonalds, Burger King, Holiday Inns, Toyota, Pfizer etc.

Award winning safety products. Big profit margins.

Minimum $500 product investment required.

…………………………

There’s no company name, no contact details, no website for the product, no photos of the product etc. so clearly it’s all just a simple scam.

The email address is @yandex.com which is one the biggest Russian Internet businesses and is a favourite for scammers to use for their email.

No thanks – you can keep you safety products, even if they exist.

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Stupidest Spam of the Week Professional Who

Some people in business love the idea of public recognition and fame and some regard such accolades as just a part of Marketing their business and some hate the whole idea.

Scammers create fake organisations supposedly giving out awards to business people and directories of the top businesses and Who’s Who registers etc.

This latest scam starts with ‘Congratulations! You have been chosen for inclusion in America’s Professional’s Register “.

The salutation is “Dear valued Customer” which means the sender has no idea who she is sending the message to and hence it is a simple scam email. She is supposedly from a professional body but her email address is a give-a-way (selfdefensecare.icu) so she’s reusing an old scam email address.

The reader is supposed to be flattered at the idea of inclusion is a prestigious register and magazine and click the link to add more details to their profile (which of course they do not have as they don’t know my name).

Only a moron would click such a link.

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The Amazon Business Account Scam

Amazon provides a business service called the Amazon Business Account and it is increasingly popular for people keen to spend a significant proportion of their business purchases with Amazon.

The real Amazon business account does offer free shipping, cheap prices, pay by invoice etc. and it starts at £80 per year for Amazon Business Prime – which gives the free shipping etc.

However, scammers have realised this is another target market they can go after.

Emails appear to be from Amazon and extol the virtues of opening a free business account with Amazon.

But, they are scammers looking for your login and password and payment details.

The link you click may get you to a website that looks like Amazon, but it’s a fake. Once they have your details, they can set up accounts with Amazon and lots of other retailers in your name and you will get the bills to pay.

If you want to try Amazon Business then go to the Amazon website directly – do not click on links in emails that may be from scammers.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

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Lekoil Scammed

Lekoil is a  Nigerian oil company and their share price dropped 73% on the London Stock Exchange, on the announcement that it had been scammed to the tune of $184.

Lekoil needed a huge loan and was approached by Seawave Invest Limited acting on behalf of the Qatar Investment Authority.

Negotiations ensued and went on for months as executives sorted out the fine details of the loan, which was needed to pay for development of the Ogo field within Oil Prospecting Licence 310 in Nigeria.

Lekan Akinyanmi, the Lekoil chief executive led the negotiations for the company and in time a formal agreement was reached.

Control Risks, a consultancy headquartered in London, prepared a due diligence report that did not raise red flags. Analysts said the loan’s relatively low interest rate of 3.72 per cent should have raised suspicions.

Norton Rose Fulbright, an international law firm that has previously worked for Lekoil, provided legal advice on the deal.

Control Risks, a consultancy headquartered in London, prepared a due diligence report that did not raise red flags, the people said. Analysts said the loan’s relatively low interest rate of 3.72 per cent should have raised suspicions. Norton Rose and Control Risks declined to comment.

But it was all fake – the people claiming to be from the Qatar Investment Authority were criminals, who went to great lengths to appear genuine.

Lekoil was left desperately trying to find money or be forced to sell off assets.

OOPS. Better do better checks next time someone offers a huge loan.

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Business Distribution Fraud

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.

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Late Payment by Big Business

Government statistics show that small businesses are owed on average £6,142 mostly by larger firms not paying them for goods and services on time. Bad practices range beyond simply paying late to include larger firms forcing a discount off an already agreed price, paying-to-stay (smaller companies pay larger firms to remain a supplier, but without the promise of any actual work) etc.

The research shows 37% small businesses have run into cash flow difficulties, 30% have been forced to use an overdraft and 20% cite a slowdown in profit growth. If all payments were made on time perhaps 50,000 more businesses could be kept open each year, whilst the UK economy would receive a £2.5 billion boost.

FSB is now campaigning for every large company to have a Non-Executive Director responsible for good supply chain practice – reporting to the Board as head of a sub-committee, reporting to the AGM, and writing in the Annual Report of what the company is doing to help their suppliers.  The Government is listening, and has adopted this model for its own Departments

The new proposals, building on action government has already taken to improve access to finance and the appointment of the Small Business Commissioner, include:

the call for evidence to consider the best way company boards can put in place responsible payment practices throughout their supply chain, for example giving a non-executive director specific responsibilities for the company’s prompt payment performance, promoting innovative technologies, such as the latest accounting software, to help small firms manage their payments processes, and empowering trade bodies to highlight the best and worst practices in payment behaviour

The government has also set the ambition that all its departments commit to paying 90% of undisputed invoices from SMEs within 5 days and ensure all government departments have a dedicated non-executive director responsible for prompt payment, improving payment practices and exploring how better to use technology to make payment processes more efficient.

If you have seen the problems caused by such late payments – let us know, by email.

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