As a distributor company it’s likely you discard emails requesting a few thousand USB drives -or any other rather pricey item- especially if it starts with “good day”, it’s written in very poor english, and asks if you take credit cards.

But scammers have been getting better at posing as valid businesses, using company branded emails and even setting up websites that somewhat match their story. But even so, the large quantities of blank items, the rush need, and their credit card payment question often gives them away.

As they continue to improve their approach in targeting the promotional products industry, they have started to pose as distributors and going for suppliers.  In one case, a scammer posed as a known distributor and used that distributor’s ASI number to place the order.

The bottom line is we need to keep our guard up and implement basic procedures to protect our business.  ASI recently posted details about this scammers’ new MO along with some recommendations,  you can read the post here. It’s good to be informed.

Some things to do when dealing with unfamiliar companies:

  • Always conduct due diligence when dealing with a new client.
  • Use a “new client information” form to gather important company information you can verify.
  • Require prepayment in full via a certified check or wire transfer.
  • Check the company address on Google maps to make sure the building exists.
  • Ask the company to fax you a certificate of incorporation, reseller’s license or other government document.
  • If they insist in using a credit card, and you have doubts about them being a legit company, ask for a copy of personal ID documents to be faxed or emailed, along with a scan of the card itself.

One thing is for certain, there will always be thieves looking for targets. We should all make sure to have policies in place and share them with all of our employees, and avoid falling for scams.