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Non-Emergency Enquiries: 101

Suppliers and Storage Facilities - Distribution Fraud - June 2017

University & Hospital Impersonation Fraud/Short Firm Fraud The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has noted a continuing issue regarding Universities and Hospitals being impersonated to enable fraudsters to obtain goods on a credit basis.

A number of wholesale businesses are initially contacted by email by the fraudster purporting to be from a University or Hospital requesting goods in mass quantity. The fraudster will ask for the items to be provided on a 30 day credit basis. If this is approved, the order is made and the items are subsequently delivered to various locations (often nowhere near the institutions impersonated), such as unsuspecting storage facilities, before being moved on. The fraudsters have been known to contact the storage facilities and change the date of the booking on numerous occasions whilst they try and negotiate the delivery date with the suppliers.

It is likely that the storage facilities provider will subsequently fall victim to the short-firm fraud element as the fraudsters do not settle the rental fees.

Things to look out for:

  1. Storage facilities which have been rented out where the client has stated that something is to be delivered, especially where the delivery date keeps changing.
  2. Where the client enquires as to whether the storage facility will re-address and forward the package/s on. Some delivery addresses have stated that they have been provided with courier labels (for companies such as DHL/DLD), and asked to forward the packages overseas to countries such as Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.
  3. Any reference to Universities or Hospitals on items being stored or delivered.