A Niftylift 120T trailer mounted lift owned by Urban Access has been stolen following a fraudulent transaction.
On Monday 22nd a man with a Birmingham accent using the name Stuart Price called Urban Access to purchase the Niftylift 120T. Following the confirmation of funds, from what was thought to be a BACS transfer, the machine was dispatched from the company’s Bournemouth depot for Sutton Coldfield using a third party driver. On route however the driver received a call from the buyer asking him to deliver the machine to Lea Marston instead.
A second enquiry was made by the same customer the following morning, requesting a machine with a greater working height – this time a Niftylift 170. Upon requesting a BACS payment the credit for the machine was paid in full into the company's account.
It was then discovered that the BACS payments were in fact paid for using cheques, which were then cancelled.
Neil Wilkinson, managing director of Urban Access, said: “Only when the customer requested that a same day collection was required for the same ‘urgent job’ he was purchasing the machine for was my suspicion raised. As our on-line banking system was unable to check the authenticity of both payments on-line, our local business bank manager was immediately contacted to ascertain the authenticity of both payments."
"A return phone call from our bank manager confirmed our suspicions. What we thought were two separate BACS credits to our account were actually legitimate Royal Bank of Scotland cheques paid over the counter into the Litchfield Branch of Barclays. We were then subsequently informed that both cheques then had a stop placed on them.”
On discovering the fraudulent transaction the company informed the customer that the second Niftylift would not be ready for another 24 hours, giving time to alert the police to the scam. While informing the customer of the delay the call was terminated by the customer and all further communication was lost.
The Dorset and Warwickshire police have been informed and the Criminal Investigation Department and National Fraud Agency are also involved.
Make & Model: Niftylift 120 TPE
Serial number: 23772
Marks of Identity: Niftylift green. In good condition however there is white emulsion paint covering the platform basket and control levers. It also has a loose jockey wheel clamp and is powered by a red Honda engine.
If anyone has any information, or receives parts requests, or sees this unit for sale, please call Neil Wilkinson of Urban Access on 07525235520.
We have just heard that an almost identical case to this one occurred with a person with a similar name and the same address almost two years ago. So be vigilant.