Young Plant and Equipment Sales, based in Doune, Scotland, found itself at the centre of a large scale fraud investigation. Identity thieves had targeted the firm and duped its customers out of thousands.
Fraudsters used Young’s name to create a number of fake websites. These sites were made to look genuine, but featured different phone numbers and email addresses. Offering equipment for sale at bargain prices, these sites lured in unsuspecting customers.
When the customers complained to Young about non-delivery of the purchased construction equipment, it became clear that they had been the victims of fraud.
The identity thieves made off with the customers’ money, leaving the real Young Plant and Equipment Sales with the repercussions and a damaged reputation. Customers were duped by the fraudsters in part because they had provided official looking invoices, import/export certificates, and shipping documentation.
According to the Stirling and Clackmannanshire trading standards service, the fraud was possible through small changes to company name, such as misspellings. While trading standards officials have worked to take down these fake sites, they continue to pop up with further name changes.
With identity theft spreading into the business world, it is important for companies to ensure their documents meet high data destruction standards. Companies that lack the right type of shredders can use accredited off-site shredding firms such as Assured Shredding.