Fraud on line has become part of our everyday life and fraudsters are always looking for new mechanisms and are not lacking in imagination to extort money, goods or services from individuals and businesses.
French small and mid size company are the main target of the scammers that are using all types of stratagems to carry out their scams.
Example of scams on merchandises delivery
For several years, scammers have been targeting more and more companies (mainly small and mid size companies).
They usually act as employees of existing companies to order merchandise that they will never pay for.
The way scammers operate
Most of the time, a person claiming to have responsibilities contacts a company to offer to buy them merchandise.
Either by email / e-mail:
- By usurping the name of well-known companies employees or directors.
- By introducing themselves on similar-sounding names.
- By introducing themselves as subsidiaries of large groups.
Scammers can create a domain name especially for the occasion, or use existing and honest websites to use the hidden and insecure pages.
The script is generally very well prepared . The crooks will take advantage of their interlocutors ‘s good faith , the desire to sell, greed, naivety… they adapt their script depending on their interlocutor to smoothly lead him to establish a relationship based on trust.
Or directly by phone:
Approach example : Initially the scammer will ask questions and request information about the products.
Then, he will announce that he wants to place an order with specific payment conditions.
This will generally be a medium-sized order but one that will be recurring. He wants to seduce the seller and he will take the initiative to gain the seller’s confidence.
So he will present even before you ask him all the necessary guarantees and documents. In general false documents or documents recovered from the real companies for which it is impersonating.
Once the order is made, the scammers will give a delivery address in an unsavory business area or notify the carrier’s driver at the last minute of a change of delivery address.
The scammer can also designate his own carrier, or go through a transport company whose name can also be usurped and request that the delivery be made in a storage room, for example.
Be careful, because some carriers have the transportation coste paid anonymously or from abroad.
The criminals will take advantage of the limits ( national boundaries) where local enforcement can intervene . Scammers will act from abroad with accomplices in France.
If everything is in order, they may even contact the seller again after the first delivery telling them that they have received the invoice or that they are waiting for it so that the accounting department can process the payment. They may try to order more merchandises.
Be careful with invoices, because the more information you provide about merchandise that scammers already have and will never pay for, the more opportunities they have to resell the merchandises to bona fide buyers and “launder” the profits.
Most requests for shipments of goods are legitimate and while wanting to preserve your commercial interests and not miss a sale or the arrival of a new client , it is important to take precautions and be careful in your procedures.
If it’s a new buyer or someone you’ve never heard of even though they claim to be from a big company:
- check the official website of the company.
- check if the e-mail address used matches the one of the company.
- check the telephone number by calling the official switchboard of the company and asking to speak to your interlocutor.
- establish a list of mandatory documents to be requested from any new client.
What to do if you have been victim of a delivery scam?
Although most of the time the goods delivered will never be found, it is important to file a complaint with the Police or Gendarmerie , because they may be able to catch the scammers later and be able to collect enough evidences to confuse the thiefs.
But to be able to file a complaint that catches the eye of the police, you have to do some preparatory work, allowing you to show that you have a bundle of important clues to a scam or attempted scams.
The preliminary work can be done using the services of a private detective firm familiar in dealing with those cases . The assistance of a lawyer may also be necessary to file the complaint under the best possible conditions and prevent your case from being quickly dismissed.
In addition, delivery scam specialists will repeat their offense.
The procedure remains the same. Except if you are prepared, you can also work on a scenario the other way to find the crooks and the stolen goods (we can place trackers devices on fake equipment for example).
But be careful, we never know who we are dealing with, sometimes the crooks are teaming up with mafia networks, which use the profits from their thefts to invest in other criminal activities It should be kept in mind that great caution is still required when dealing with those type of case.
In any case, do not hesitate to contact Anthony CAUDAL to discuss how a a private detective agency could assist you and to file for a possible criminal complaint with the police or a civil proceedings with a judicial order 145 to seize material.