Iceland has been hit by the latest in a string of identity fraud scams targeting suppliers.
CCTV images show a man taking delivery of a €26,000 shipment of tortillas which were ordered using a fake Iceland email address and the name of the supermarket’s legal director Duncan Vaughan.
A page on Iceland’s website warns suppliers about fake orders following a series of similar scams. It says orders will never be placed by email, only following telephone calls and inspections.
The truckload of tortillas was dispatched by a Dutch producer in response to an email from the address firstname.lastname@example.org purporting to be from Vaughan.
The shipment was delivered on 2 February to a warehouse in Enfield, north London, where the recipient was caught on CCTV.
Previous scam emails have also come from addresses containing Iceland’s name in an attempt to appear authentic, such as email@example.com.
Iceland legal assistant Sarah Cheshire said there had been 55 reports of scam attempts since January 2017 and 44 since May last year, when The Grocer last reported on it.
Five had been successful, resulting in a loss for the prospective supplier.
“Usually the first we hear of it is when they contact us for payment,” said Vaughan.
Vaughan said it seemed particularly cheeky of fraudsters to use his name as Iceland’s legal director. “They’ve used several in the past, including Nick Canning, our former joint MD, but more recently it’s been me,” he added.
Cheshire said the matter had been reported on Monday of this week to Action Fraud, the national fraud and crime reporting centre, and a standard response letter had been received.
“When there’s a loss we always receive an acknowledgement letter from Action Fraud but it’s just a standard letter and that’s it,” she said. “We don’t tend to hear anything else after that.”
“We’ve never had any useful follow-up,” added Vaughan.
The Grocer approached Action Fraud but the agency did not immediately provide a comment.
Sanaa Ben Meryem, in charge of sales at the Dutch tortilla firm, called Durum, said a second order was being prepared when the firm realised it had been scammed.
“We’re actually really happy that it was only €26,000 that they ordered,” she said.