Why is there a warning about my company on your website?
If a warning note has been added to your company page, this is to protect both the company and the victims who are being tricked into buying from sellers who are impersonating the business.
We receive emails and telephone calls daily, from victims who have been contacted by individuals on the internet offering cheap goods. These sellers use the identity of real companies in order to give the customer a false sense of security. The victim sends money to the seller, does not receive their goods, and blames the registered company with whom they think they are dealing.
When a company's identity is used to de-fraud a victim, it is both damaging to you, the company, and to us as a credit reference agency. After all, they check that the business is legitimate before they hand their money over. Also, the scammers often quote this website suggesting that the victim 'check their legitimacy' before they hand over their money. The problem is of course, that although the company may be active and credit worthy, the victim is not handing their money to the business, they are handing it to the imposter.
What can I do to stop this?
We can alter the warning section on your company page to include a comment from you, the company. We can also update your contact details so that if someone does come to verify that they are dealing with you, they will have the necessary details to speak with you directly. This should also warn off the fraudsters, since it will be clear that you are on to them! Please contact us if you would like us to do this.
The likelihood is, that the scammer is operating from another country and is unlikely to be caught. Although this sort of scam is illegal it is also very common, and unfortunately due to the volume of identity fraud cases reported, the police are usually unable to investigate individual cases. We do however, forward all correspondence to the Metropolitan Police who collate this information and use it to educate businesses and the public about the types of fraud being carried out. This helps to create a better understanding of the risks associated with online buying and the risks to businesses who don't keep an eye on their online presence.
How did you find out about my company's identity being used fraudulently?
We are notified about company identity fraud by our own internet research and from the actual victims of scams, who contact us using our Report a potential fraud form.
Where we have found details of the scams online, either through forums or B2B sites, we can provide you with the links. This will allow you to contact the owners of the forum or website and explain that your company's details have been used fraudulently and must be removed with immediate effect.
If we have been notified by a victim of fraud, we can provide you with further information about the individuals who carried out the scam, which you can use to provide extra information to the police or other fraud investigation services.
How do I prevent my company identity being stolen?
We have created a page about this. Please visit our page for advice on protecting your company.