Plastribution Warns of Impersonation Fraud Targeting Polymer Producers

Leading polymer distributor, Plastribution, is issuing a warning to the polymer industry regarding a concerning rise in impersonation fraud. Criminals exploit publicly available information to fraudulently obtain credit lines from polymer suppliers, resulting in unpaid goods.

As a result, Plastribution urges heightened vigilance among industry stakeholders to mitigate the risks associated with this scam.

The perpetrators of this fraud are utilising financial data sourced from public records, including those held at Companies House, to target various polymer producers for illicit supply. Plastribution’s financial records up until April 2022, and potentially fictional data beyond that date, have been observed as part of this fraudulent activity.

Key characteristics of this fraud are:

  • The utilisation of financial data from public records, specifically Plastribution Limited, potentially supplemented with fabricated information.
  • The intended destination for the goods is often an African country, such as Uganda.
  • Emails are sent from deceptive addresses that resemble Plastribution’s legitimate domain, such as info@plastributions.co.uk (note the addition of the letter ‘s’ to ‘plastribution’).
  • The domain www.plastributions.co.uk does not contain any relevant content.
  • Subtle amendments are made to telephone numbers.
  • A ‘WhatsApp’ number is introduced to facilitate communication.

Although polymer producers have been the primary targets thus far, it is possible that the fraudsters may expand their scope to include compounders, distributors, and traders. Plastribution advises all suppliers to implement robust due diligence procedures and exercise “Know Your Customer” (KYC) precautions.

The following measures are recommended:

  • Verify the legitimacy of the trade through personal contacts and established communication channels (e.g., mobile phone, email).
  • Scrutinise delivery locations, particularly when they are in different countries.
  • Consider making visits to new customers.
  • Utilise registered addresses to validate the authenticity of a trade.
  • Do not solely rely on credit reference reports or provided financial data.
  • Exercise utmost caution when examining email addresses for any irregularities.

Commenting on the issue, Mike Boswell, managing director of Plastribution, said: “It is regrettable that criminals are exploiting Plastribution’s solid financial reputation to deceive suppliers and acquire goods through fraudulent means. While we can do little to prevent impersonation fraud entirely, we aim to raise awareness and strongly advise potential victims to exercise comprehensive precautions when extending credit and scrutinising new delivery locations. Furthermore, we want to emphasise that Plastribution’s IT Security remains uncompromised, adhering to the highest standards.

Plastribution urges the polymer industry to remain vigilant and promptly report any suspicious activities to the appropriate authorities. By working together and taking proactive measures, the industry can combat impersonation fraud effectively and safeguard its financial integrity.

Read more from Plastribution here.

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