Always treat newly-formed firms and new accounts with suspicion, beware of a new client trying to place a large order for their first or second order
There are certain styles of business names long firm fraudsters seem to favour. Beware of the words, Euro, International, Worldwide, Wholesale, Trading and Distribution, please air particular caution to these types of businesses
If the trader has been a long-established company, beware of rapid change in Directorship, Company Secretary etc. These indicate the company has changed ownership, and may have been hijacked by fraudsters to obtain credit
Use a recognised credit reference agency to check the company or individual out in detail. If the company has submitted accounts to Companies House, check the dates match and the firm of accountants who submitted the accounts actually exist
Check with the landlord of the premises and neighbouring businesses to confirm the length of occupancy.
Ensure receipt of original paperwork – never accept copies or faxed documents. Do not accept hand-written faxed orders for goods
Ask for Trade References, don’t just call the number supplied and ask them to supply you with information. Goggle map the business to check it actually exists and again ask neighbouring businesses how long they have been there for.
When following up a Trade Reference ask unusual questions like, Have you worked with this Company at any different addresses? Have they changed their names? How well do you know them? (If the person at the end of the phone is hesitant they are usually working from a script, which wont include questions like this)
Check the company has a website, and it looks genuine, there should be no spelling mistakes, and should relate to the business they carry out. If the website looks very basic, carry out more checks
Fraudsters very rarely have company email addresses, they are usually linked to Yahoo, AOL, and Hotmail Accounts, if this is the case your suspicions should be aroused straight away
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