Sir, It is very helpful that The Grocer and Iceland have raised the issue of the fraudulent targeting of suppliers to the major retailers and wholesalers (‘Iceland sounds alert over fake orders sting,’ 13 May, p6).
This is not a one-off occurrence but an industry-wide problem. We know many suppliers, including some that work with Brakes, have been fraudulently targeted to deliver their products to warehouses that have nothing to do with the company they are supplying. The fraudsters are placing orders using the identity of Brakes’ directors, including myself, and using email addresses that are very similar to the Brakes email address, and then failing to pay for the goods. Like Iceland, we have issued alerts to our suppliers and reported these matters to the authorities, but we are told they may or may not investigate, while in the meantime, of course, the fraud continues to happen.
Like Iceland, Brakes would not engage with a new supplier without first undertaking due diligence, and any email communication would only come from an email address ending in @brake.co.uk. We would urge any supplier who suspects they have been targeted to talk to the customer who they believe has ordered the product before they supply it. Suppliers should challenge anything that doesn’t feel right, including, for example, last minute changes in delivery addresses. Although most suppliers do recognise this type of scam, for those who are victims, it can be a traumatic and expensive experience.
Ian Keilty, chief operating officer, Brakes