The managing director of a major UK fish care supplier is warning others in the aquatics industry to be aware of three attempted incidents of deception that nearly resulted in lost stock.
Mark Winter says a number of companies including his own, Aqua One, as well as OASE UK and ALF, have all been targeted by thieves in the past week, who were attempting to remove stock by impersonating genuine customers.
He says that the first call to OASE alleged to be from a known customer in Cheshire wanting a large order for a promotion.
A driver was sent to collect the order but then smelled a rat when he was diverted with the order at the last minute, via a telephone call. When he checked with the shop it had not placed the order at all and it was returned to the warehouse.
Mark said: “Then my office received a call from a person claiming to be from another client in Cheshire. They initially checked stock, and then rang back to place an order. This happened just a couple of minutes before the office closed, so the order was given to a member of staff to check and process the following morning.
“At 7am Friday morning my accounts manager turned up at work to be met by a white van and a driver waiting. This man was there to collect the order. When he was told he would have to come back at 8am when our warehouse opens he argued he couldn’t do that. Mike was firm that he could not arrange for the goods to be readied, the man eventually left and did not return.
“Clearly whoever it was wanted the goods out of our warehouse before there was a chance for the story to be checked.”
ALF was also targeted in a similar way and Mark believes there may be others. He is concerned that the person behind the attempts must have been involved in the aquatics industry at some point due to the terminology used.
Police have been informed but say there is currently insufficient evidence to launch an investigation. However, Mark would like to hear from anyone who believes their own company may have been similarly targeted, contact [email protected]