Le Creuset has been the victim of a swindle involving a fake customer order and is warning other suppliers to be on their guard.
The Andover-based cookware supplier received the order, to the value of £8,000, purporting to be from a genuine, existing customer. The order was emailed with an attachment on the customer’s headed paper.
The email requested that the order be picked up from Le Creuset as quickly as possible.
The order was duly processed, a van turned up and drove away with the merchandise.
Soon afterwards, a Le Creuset sales rep called on the customer and mentioned the order which had been despatched. However, the store had no knowledge of the order, or the people quoted in the email or on the order.
Le Creuset has contacted the police, who are now pursuing the matter, and informed trade association BHETA, which has circulated a warning amongst members.
BHETA housewares director Will Jones told HousewaresLive.net that he had not encountered such a sting before, but said it appeared to be an alarmingly easy trick to pull off.
“The warning bells are there,” he said, “so please watch out for anything out of the ordinary. If you do allow orders to be picked up it might be worth double checking with relevant buyers orders that come in.
“We’re very pleased that Le Creuset has raised this issue,” he added, “and if in any way this helps or protects other members then so much the better.”
Meanwhile, Le Creuset’s managing director Nick Ryder told HousewaresLive.net that suppliers should “be vigilant and look at their processes and procedures”.