How to spot a fraudster – 22 Mar 2007

Too good to be true: If a potential partner comes to you with an offer that seems to be good to be true, it probably is. Why risk your business?
The cash offer: If someone offers you a suitcase full of cash for your business, turn them down, at least until you have been able to take advice. Cash offers could be part of a money laundering scheme.
Unbelievable deals: If you know the holiday deals a company is offering are really impossible to put together then trust your instinct and do not do business with them. This is often a sign that a ‘bust out’ is on the cards.
Have these people previously been involved in fraud? If you know that the people approaching you to do business have previously been linked to a fraud, why tempt fate and do business with them?
Companies with websites that do not work: We are not talking about a website with a technical fault that stops it working temporarily. Check out potential business partners’ or new owners’ websites before doing business with them. If things are not working contact the customer protection organisation to satisfy yourself it is not a sham site.
Companies that trade in a similar way to known fraudsters: Does the trading style seem familiar? If you recognise the style and marketing as being very similar to a previous fraud ask yourself if it’s a sign this new company could be linked.
Firms that are overly keen to do business with you: Do you have reservations about a company because they are rushing you into doing business with them?  It might indicate something is not quite right, so exercise caution.
Check them out: Before you enter into a business arrangement with anyone check them out. You can search sites such, do a Companies House search or get a credit report. Always check claims that a company is bonded and holds any licences with the Civil Aviation Authority, ABTA, Travel Trust Association, Global Travel Group or IATA.

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