fraud/deception/impersonation - your rights?

jonnyboy

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Hi all

Sketchy details so far but a contact from a different area of my life has just started receiving credit invoices for supplies/services he hasn't ordered. It looks like someone has been posing as him, signwritten their van up and been working as him (in a different area), getting machines repaired in his name on credit, gaining supplies in his name, the first he knows about it is when invoices start piling up. Not yet sure if he is LTD or a sole trader.

Seemingly the Police just say it is a civil matter. I have a keen interest being in allied trades myself, in challenging times!

Discuss?
 

corned

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I'd say that it is not really his worry, in a sense. It is the suppliers who should be worried as they have supplied goods to a fraudster.

Perhaps your mate should ask the suppliers where the delivery address(es) was/were, as presumably this will be different to your mate's trading address, and that should flag up as an anomaly pretty quickly.

It's a start at least.
 

PXW

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I'd guess some/most of the supplies are delivered directly to customers premises? I think my first action would be to do a bit of internet research to find out about this ghost business that has been set up - he must be getting his customers from somewhere. Get a stooge to contact him and get him round to give a quote - don't challenge him but do take his van reg number - you should have enough grounds to then get his address - or else Trading Standards would have. Once you've got that, a solicitors letter telling him to cease and desist might follow, and a call to the suppliers to arrange with them how they are to know what are your friend's genuine orders and what are fake - a code word perhaps?

Just a few thoughts...
 

Pontoneer

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If the invoices are repeatedly from the same suppliers , your mate can at least advise them he did not order the goods/services and is not responsible for the debts .

Another good precaution , which affords some protection in law , is for your mate to place newspaper adverts in the area advising traders of the impostor and that he will not be held responsible for any debt run up by said impostor .

Oh , and the advert should also be aimed at prospective customers , advising that your mate will not be responsible for any problems arising out of this other person's activities .
 
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markjay

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If the goods and services were purchased from companies who had no previous working relationship with your friend's business,then he should simply make it clear to them that they have been conned. The suppliers can take no action through bailiffs if your friend disputes the debt, and the suppliers' only choice is to go to the courts - which they will probably not pursue as they don't really have a case - they should have carried out their own due diligence before extending credit.

If your friend does normally order from these suppliers, then the situation is potentially more complicated. Depending on the suppliers' T&C, some make it the customers' responsibility for fraud carried out against them, i.e. your friend had the option of not asking for credit in the first place, but by doing so he become responsible for all orders made under his name.

The latter is very much down to the wording of T&C, whether your friend was actually made aware and received a copy of (or signed) the T&C, and whether the terms imposed are reasonable.

But the former should be easier as the suppliers will not be able to prove that your friend is an existing customer - any documents they may have will be forged.
 

Godot

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This style of "invoicing" used to be a scam used that was quite popular, with the fraudsters sending in a plausible looking invoice for "services" rendered etc., just to see if it got "rubber stamped" for payment in a busy office.

Not sure, of course, that this applies in the case being disc used here, I would just front the firm up. Proof of work ? etc etc. Sounds like some chancer the Invoicer , at best at the end a job for the Small Claims Court.
 
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jonnyboy

jonnyboy

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thanks guys i will pass that along for him, nice one
 

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