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New scam shows worrying sophistication

News reaches the BPMA of a worrying potential new scam. Chris Weeks, owner of sourcing company, A&R Direct was approached about an order, and takes up the story.

“Recently I received an overseas enquiry from our website. It was for a quantity of 3,000 thermal mugs to be printed with a logo of an event taking place in 2020. Artwork was attached and I checked the basics, that the event was happening and that the company existed. These all being in order I proceeded to get the job priced up.

The various emails with the ‘client’ also amended the artwork, which all pointed towards it being a proper job. Although I was highly skeptical all the way through, eventually an order was placed.

A few days later I received an email to say that their accounts department had made a mistake and sent too much money (around £60,000 too much) and could I please refund the balance. Having been wary of the whole enquiry from the outset, I said that I was on holiday and would have to sort it out upon my return, which was true.

When I got back from holiday I had a call from the bank asking if I was expecting a cheque from overseas. I said that I was but I was quite wary of it. The bank told me the cheque had been passed on to the fraud department. I asked how long it would have taken for them to identify it as a fake and remove the money credited to my account and was told that that could take up to six weeks.

The point is that this was a much more involved scam that only fell apart when they were basically too greedy. If this had been for the correct amount and they asked to cancel and return their payment then it may have worked although I should imagine that we would all check with the bank that the money had cleared before sending it back. So as ever beware out there, if business wasn’t hard enough, we now have quite well-educated scammers wasting our time and trying to take our money.”

Have you heard of this scam, or been targeted by it? If so, the BPMA would like to hear from you.

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