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Used equipment scam

A team of criminals is currently working the used aerial lift market and successfully defrauding companies in spite of the normal credit checks.

Our story last week - Niftylift stolen by fraudulent transaction - covering the theft of a trailer lift has highlighted further examples of this scam. So far all of them have occurred in the UK, although in the following cases credit cards were used to make the purchases.

West country based Prolift had a call from a customer wishing to purchase a used Genie GS2646 scissor lift. He was asked to provide details for a credit check which he duly did, claiming to be Kaka Cash & Carry of Manchester, although his credit checked out OK, he was asked for a credit card to cover payment. A first card was declined but the £4,550 payment went through on a second card.

A third party transport company duly collected the machine and had all the right paperwork for delivery to the said company’s address. (The machine is a 1999 unit - serial number 14062).

Following the transaction all was well until several weeks later the credit card company informed Prolift that the credit card holder was totally unaware of the transaction.

A call to the transport company revealed that the driver had been contacted en-route and asked to divert to a different address. The credit check details were not those of the real ‘buyer’ but a forged letter head etc… The police have been informed and in this case it looks as though the seller will be paid in full having followed all the correct due diligence – with the charge being picked up by the credit card company as credit card fraud.

We are also aware of another almost identical case to this one.

So - used equipment sellers beware of unknown buyers wanting quick delivery. Ensure funds are cleared and perhaps insist on delivering the machine? If suspicious it might be worth using the internet to check real phone numbers rather than relying on the letterhead or business card presented.

Hopefully this gang has left enough clues around that they will be caught and prosecuted.

We have just heard that an almost identical case to the Nifty Trailer lift fraud occurred with the same person and the same address almost two years ago. So be vigilant.