Suppliers are being advised to remain vigilant following attempts by bogus overseas traders to cheat the giftware industry out of thousands of pounds.
The GA recently alerted its members about a fraudulent ordering company that is using a fake shipping business to lure gift suppliers into despatching products and paying for the items with a stolen credit card.
The sum of the carriage is normally around £300, with the scammer requesting a ‘preferred shipping company’ is used and fees paid upfront via a Western Union transfer.
While it is not know how many gift suppliers have been targeted by this particular fraudster, a numbers of companies have come forward to say that such scams are rife.
Chris Duggins, owner of Focus Jewellery, was recently contacted by a ‘Peter Williams’ requesting prices for silver chains, but smelt a rat when unusual shipping demands were made.
“He told me that he wanted to pay the bill including shipping by card,” explained Duggins. “The shipping company, Omash Shipping, quoted £1870 for collection and delivery to the customer in Norway. The cost by a normal carrier might have been around £100. The email addresses were both Hotmail and the carrier was not showing up on Google.”
Other jewellery suppliers have also come close to falling foul of similar scams. Nathan & Stock was just minutes away from processing an order from an international ‘buyer’ when it sussed that it was being conned.
“We had a sales enquiry for silver jewellery from a company in South Korea with a Gmail address, asking for goods to be shipped by an unheard-of shipping company,” said owner Carole Stock.
Other sources said it was common for the scammers to pose as legitimate buyers from countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the US in an attempt to deceive suppliers.
Article taken from Giftware Pro magazine – September 2011