It has been estimated that businesses lose approximately 5% of revenues every year due to fraud. The Glass industry – our industry, is not exempt from this number. The study done by ACFE (Association of Fraud Examiners), shows smaller companies of less than 100 employees to be particularly vulnerable. The percentage of larger companies that enlist in anti-fraud practices (call centers, anti-fraud training, etc) is much higher in larger companies. We believe the best tool to use in defense of being scammed is education.
The most recent example of the scam that seems to be making its way around our industry again goes something like this:
You receive a call from someone (more than likely out of state) who has called everywhere looking for (most recently):
20 – 50 x 78
20 – 40 x 68
You send them pricing; he approves your quote upwards of (let’s say) $20K, he gives you his credit card information to pre-pay for this order to put you at ease. All you have to do is pay for the crating and shipping to his job-site or his office. Considering you just made $20K for answering your phone, you use some of it to pay for shipping and place the order with your local supplier. Sounds good, right?
Unfortunately the credit card number he gave was a stolen card and those funds that were in your business account are now seized. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the shipping company that they asked you to use and paid money to, was none other than the scammer himself. Now, you no longer have that original money and you lost those shipping charges and still have to pay the supplier.
Educate yourself in regards to fraudulent activity. There is a great article in Glass Magazine that contains red flags to be aware of, activity to look for and other items that can help you catch these scams early on. Some of these flags are listed below:
- stock sizes or block sizes of glass in high quantities
- out of state “contractors”
- orders that require out of state shipping
- emailed orders with numerous typing errors
These are just a few examples of “red flags” to investigate further if they come up.
You can also investigate their website and look for phone number and address discrepancies. There is also a lot of information available just by doing a quick search on Google and the Better Business Bureau.
We hope this information helps you. We pray for a safe and prosperous 2017 for everyone. Be on the look out for scams such as these to keep yourself from becoming the next victim. Like! us on Facebook to keep up with our blog and other helpful information as it becomes available.