Northern Ireland

Co Antrim firm loses ‘significant’ sum as scammers make order impersonating company

Business owners warned to check and verify orders for materials

The PSNI said a security alert in Co Fermanagh has ended
Police are warning business owners to be aware of material ordering scams. (Niall Carson/PA)

Police are urging businesses to be aware of fraudsters impersonating reputable companies after a Co Antrim firm lost a “significant amount of money” in an order scam.

The business in Carrickfergus had received calls dating back to December placing orders for materials, from what they believed to be a well-known company.

The goods were then collected from the business, but when staff became aware of outstanding payments, they contacted the firm they believed had placed the order, only to learn no order for materials had been made.

The scam was reported to police on Tuesday, and a PSNI spokesperson said: ”Consequently, a significant amount of money has been lost and understandably, this is really distressing for the business and staff involved.

“As a business owner, it’s so important to check and verify who you are communicating with, ensuring they are a trusted source. If you are in doubt, do not transfer any goods.

”Fraudsters can be extremely convincing and use information to convince people they’re genuine, which is why being aware of this type of crime is crucial if you are a business owner who sells materials to the public.”

The spokesperson added: ”We are appealing to businesses to be on their guard. If you have any concerns or believe something like this has happened to you and your business, please get in touch by calling the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 243 30/01/24.”