Bakeware manufacturer Silverwood has issued a warning to fellow housewares suppliers to watch out for fraudsters.
Following a tip-off received earlier this week from Barnitts department store in York that a supplier had fallen foul of a fraud to attain goods in Barnitts’ name, Silverwood managing director Simon Silverwood instructed his staff to be on the look-out for a similar attempt – but to ‘go-along’ with the crooks as far as possible.
On Wednesday (December 14), Silverwood received a mobile call purporting to be from ‘Paul Collier’ from Dawsons department store in Clitheroe – an existing valued customer – asking whether Silverwood had a large quantity of roasting dishes available for a quick delivery. Silverwood confirmed that it had stock.
Yesterday morning (December 15), ‘Paul’ called again and asked whether Silverwood could have an even larger quantity of goods made available for collection in the early afternoon.
Silverwood agreed, and subsequently received an emailed order. The order looked valid, but having been alerted to the possibility of fraud, the firm checked the details and recognised the mobile phone number was identical to that on the fraudulent order received by Barnitts.
Silverwood called Dawsons’ land line and confirmed that this was indeed another fraudulent order.
Simon explains what happened next: “We then packed up four large cartons of our very best factory rubbish, with all required documentation.
“The police were informed and invited to attend at the appointed hour.
“A delivery driver arrived on time in an unmarked van, and was kept talking for 15 minutes whilst we slowly loaded him up and waited in vain for the police to turn up. Eventually, we ran-out of pleasantries and the gentleman drove off with his ill-gotten gains.
“Twenty minutes later, the police arrived and took details!
“I doubt that the crooks will be satisfied with their takings. PLEASE make sure that if they try again, their luck is no better! And any, many thanks to Barnitts for alerting us.”
The four large cartons of Silverwood’s “very best factory rubbish”