Companies buying scrap materials have been urged to be vigilant by a large paper recycler whose name and company details are being used fraudulently by people pretending to be the firm.
After seeing a purchasing note for an order issued by the fake company, the paper recycler discovered its name, registered company number and address was being used to sell material. But the telephone number seems to be registered overseas.
A suspicious customer alerted the paper company to the fake seller when she was asked to pay 1% of the order upfront into a personal bank account. She telephoned the paper company, which had no idea about the order she was placing, and realised she had not contacted a genuine seller. She had found the details of the seller on the website Alibaba.com.
A spokesman for the paper recycler said: “Scammers that are imitating legitimate companies seem to be becoming more and more prominent, especially in the recycling industry. We were first alerted to it a year ago, but when we contacted the police, they said they were unable to take any action until a crime had been committed.
“We want people to be aware of this practice because it’s not good for the reputation of the recycling industry.”
The spokesman added that, to date, he did not believe any of his customers had actually followed through with an order.
MRW recently reported on a case where a seller was posing as Metal and Waste Recycling, and scamming customers by taking a deposit upfront and then not delivering any material.