Monday, August 25, 2008

Stand up to scammers

My dad always told me to “trust but verify.” A safer piece of advice today, in the scam age, might be “doubt until verified.” There are Internet scams, identity thefts, pyramid schemes, charity frauds and, of particular concern for the glass industry, ordering scams.

I received an e-mail last week from Chris Thornton, president of Ace Glass Inc., Montgomery, Ala., saying his shop had been targeted by scammers. After several emails back and forth, Thornton identified the fraud and stopped the order before the company lost any money. Many shops have not been so lucky.

For several years, scammers have targeted the glass industry with fraudulent orders that could cost a company thousands of dollars if not caught in time. And, there is little or no protection for companies once they have been scammed.

“The main thing to get this stopped is education within glass companies. Recognize the patterns,” David Furlong, investigator for the Utah Division of Consumer Protection said in a September 2007 e-glass weekly article.

To help glass shop owners keep up with frauds and scamming techniques, we have created a Scam alert page on GlassMagazine.com. The page contains a list of the red flags for fraud, links to related scam articles and copies of fraudulent orders sent to glass shops.

E-mail me at kdevlin@glass.org to submit your information to the Scam alert page.

—By Katy Devlin, commercial glass and metals editor, retail glass co-editor, Glass Magazine

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beware of this kind of scam: "new" company claims they can deliver custom decorative architectural glass to "meet the needs" of the glass contractor. Rarely are the glaziers of the world designing custom glass for commercial projects. This scam only seeks to disparage existing custom decorative architectural glass makers. The scammer will often use language that puts word into the mouths of honest, legitimate glass contractors. Don't get scammed!

Heather said...

Our company has been hit 4 times this year. They contact us by email, claiming to be deaf. They provide name address... and credit card info to process a huge order.

The scam is to use the credit card ( which is not theirs ) and never pickup the glass order.

We were able to catch them due to the location they were ordering from and common sense - we never get orders from out of state for pickup.

This happens alot and if you have new employees that are unaware of the situation it can be a costly mistake.

Anonymous said...

Our company has also been targeted several times with this scam. The initial contact on most occasions has been through the hearing impaired telephone relay system. This makes it appear to be a legitimate order on the surface, but then they ask for the e-mail address for additional info and to send the credit card information. The e-mails usually contain horrible grammer and spelling. I have always taken the credit card information and checked with the issuing credit card company and ask them to please inform their customer of the breach of their information. Sometimes they send several different credit cards to run the charge. It has always seemed strange to me that a company would want to have glass ordered in Arizona to be shipped overseas.