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Fraudulent use of company details

A client has been in touch concerned as he has discovered a third party is offering products...

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A client has been in touch concerned as he has discovered an unknown third party is offering products / issuing quotations using my client's company name, company number, vat registration number and using a slightly different email address and different telephone number. 
 

This came to light as a (potential) customer of the third party fraudsters emailed my client asking when the goods were going to be shipped. My client replied along the lines of "we don't sell such products" and in response to this my client received an email containing a quote, purportedly from my client's company, showing vat number, company name etc. 
 

Client's initial instinct was to report to the police but he has asked for any advice I can provide before he reports it. 
 

im not sure what course of action to recommend, however I think HMRC need to be notified of this, particularly re. VAT?

Any thoughts / words of wisdom?

Thanks

 

Replies (12)

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By Sarah Z
19th Nov 2020 21:13

I would have thought it was a question for a solicitor or he could call Action Fraud for advice

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By Sarah Z
19th Nov 2020 21:14

I would have thought it was a question for a solicitor or he could call Action Fraud for advice

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By Paul Crowley
19th Nov 2020 21:18

The problem is that all details are in the public domain

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By Calculatorboy
19th Nov 2020 21:35

So this " customer " rings the company up on a different number / email than the one he used to place the order ...hmmm

You sure he's not the scammer just trying to get free goods because company might be scared of bad publicity ?

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By Calculatorboy
19th Nov 2020 21:37

ps you're not a solicitor, pass him on

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RLI
By lionofludesch
19th Nov 2020 23:09

The coppers are a good bet for starters.

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By Paul Crowley
19th Nov 2020 23:28

Trading standards?
Police probably would not be able to do much

https://www.gov.uk/find-local-trading-standards-office

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By Matrix
20th Nov 2020 06:53

I would advise HMRC as you suggest.

Regarding all the other suggestions, you can make them to the client if you wish but I don’t think this falls under accounting, they are legal matters.

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By paulwakefield1
20th Nov 2020 07:58

Probably need to consider SAR as well although it does not sound as if there is much useful information to be passed on.

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By WhichTyler
20th Nov 2020 08:39

Report it to Action Fraud, and tell the potential victims to do it too

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Replying to WhichTyler:
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By Paul Crowley
20th Nov 2020 09:16

Agree
More complaints the better

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By frankfx
20th Nov 2020 11:43

May be worth informing local police
To the economic crime unit.

They only deal with large economic crimes.

This incident may be small in its own right.

But part of a larger spider's web of criminality.

HMRC Vat fraud line may be worth contacting.

Client could do some web searches to see if any duplication of his web site content is prevalent.

Also check social media for passing off.

Contact Nominet.
Let them know that a similar email address is being used
They may ask for a Police Case reference.

Let us know the outcome, please.

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