The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) reports that genuine organisations, particularly UNIVERSITIES AND HOSPITALS, ARE BEING IMPERSONATED to enable fraudsters to obtain goods on a credit basis.

Wholesale businesses are initially contacted by email by a fraudster purporting to be from a University or Hospital requesting goods in mass quantity. The fraudster asks for items on a 30 day credit basis. If approved, the order is made for the items to be delivered to various locations (often not near the institutions impersonated), such as unsuspecting storage facilities, before being moved on. The fraudsters may contact the storage facilities to change the date of the booking on numerous occasions whilst they try and negotiate the delivery date with the suppliers.

Once goods are received, the fraudsters disappear and sell the goods elsewhere.  It is likely that the storage facility will also fall victim, as the fraudsters do not settle the rental fees.

Things to look out for:

- Any reference to Universities or Hospitals on mass items being ordered, stored or delivered.

- Such deliveries to third party addresses, eg. storage facilities.

- Storage facilities rented for something to be delivered, especially if a delivery date keeps changing.

- Client enquiring if the storage facility will re-address and forward the items overseas.

Prevention Advice:

• Relevant staff to be alerted.

• Evaluate before accepting a large order from an organisation or representative you’ve dealt with for only a short time.

• Ensure goods are delivered to identifiable individuals and addresses.

• Check the phone number and web domain match that of the genuine company.

• Check phone numbers of suspicious requests at: www.telecom-tariffs.co.uk/codelook.htm   - indicates if the origin of the call is in the UK or potentially a virtual number originating from overseas i.e. VoIP.

For more advice visit: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/fraud_protection/long_term_and_short_term_fraud