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Approached by scammer wanting accounting services

Almost fooled me!

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I was approached by a Japanese company to act as their virtual accountant in the UK.  They were producer of agricultural equipment and had an extensive brochure, online prescence, LinkedIn etc.

They wanted monthly accounts and aged payables and receivables management, and said that it would be more cost efficient for them to use a Business Process Outsourcing Unit rather than setting up an office. I have some overseas clients who so similar, so it was not out of the ordinary for me.

They checked out and proposed a remuneration of $30k pa. They appeared to be a well established company with a very plausible website and catalogue appearing all over Google and other reputable domains. They had also done some background research on me, and knew details of myself and my company that were not on my website.

I consider myself as quite tech savvy, and on the ball with combatting fraud, but I admit I was taken in at this point!

It was my intention to set them up as a Ltd Co. here with it's own bank account, however they preferred not to do that and wanted me to execute payments to suppliers for them on their behalf. This obviously raised a red flag for me, so I did a Japanese registry search and found that there were very similar named companies, but no exact match.

Then I looked online and found that they had tried to scam a US practioner the same way using their same website. He'd signed the contract with them, however got suspicious when they sent him a cheque and asked him to make an onward supplier payment. After verifying the cheque was fake, he kindly went online to warn others.

Just as I'm doing now!

 

 

 

 

 

Replies (10)

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By Slim
12th Oct 2019 12:51

I received the same email.

They went quiet when I asked detailed questions, also the timing of their replies was a little unusual.

They looked legit, but like you the alarm bells were ringing.

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By Slim
12th Oct 2019 13:01

showaindustrial.com

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Replying to Slim:
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By fellowcraft
12th Oct 2019 14:24

Yes!! Showa Industrial

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RLI
By lionofludesch
12th Oct 2019 13:49

I would've said "ie, domo arigato, sayonara" at the point where they wanted me to handle their payments.

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By lesley.barnes
13th Oct 2019 10:12

Did these people pass your Money Laundering checks? If they did that is frightening.

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Replying to lesley.barnes:
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By SXGuy
13th Oct 2019 19:45

I don't think the op got as far as running an aml check. Please tell me you don't run one for every Tom dick and Harry who happens to enquire about your services?

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Replying to SXGuy:
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By lesley.barnes
14th Oct 2019 09:18

No I don't check everyone who makes an enquiry out but the poster did say that they "checked out" I was wondering how the company had got through the ML checks that's all. I though it might be a learning point for me and other accountants on the forum on what to watch out for.

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Replying to lesley.barnes:
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By fellowcraft
13th Oct 2019 20:26

Didn't get that far as no response/info provided....unsurpisingly (thanks SXGuy)

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By GlobalTax
14th Oct 2019 11:34

Yes I too have had a email from showaindustrial.com. Thought it was too good to be true

Too many scammers in this world and they are going after accountants too !

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By john hextall
18th Oct 2019 12:29

A right showa

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