One of our DG Food and Drink businesses has had an increased number of rogue enquiries recently from people purporting to be small wholesalers seeking to open a credit account. We are therefore keen to alert local businesses to this concerning practice.
The business describes their experience as follows:
"We have recently been approached by several small independent food wholesalers operating from various commercial sites in the Glasgow area.
"They apply for a credit account and supply all of the usual names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses – and even references and orders.
"On close examination they are supplying references for companies that no longer exist, or do exist - but the email addresses are made up to look like the real thing but use a generic email provider (like cadburyschocolate@hotmail..co.uk) - and the phone numbers are often from the wrong area code. The bases are often small industrial estates so if you Google them it looks real - but the home addresses (in the case of partnerships/sole traders) are usually flats in equally run-down areas. Company numbers and VAT numbers are also false.
"This type of operation could of course happen anywhere – so beware."
If you do receive an enquiry such as this from a business that is unfamiliar to you, please take extra care to investigate the business credentials.