Scammer unmasked, but still active
A collection procedure in Italy, in Sicily to be precise, led to the unmasking of an Italian scammer last week. During the investigation that AgroCheck carried out before starting the collection procedure for a Dutch exporter, we already indicated that this had all the signs of a fraud case. Nevertheless, we were requested to start the debt collection procedure.
During the telephone contact with the debtor, we immediately recognized the voice and tricks of a debtor who made a lot of debts in Ecuador and Holland in 2019 ($450,000 damage!). Please be warned, as these scammers are still in business and are also active outside Sicily.
A private company, founded in 2020, with no visible activities and no history. Registered in Sicily, where we know a lot of bad debtors. That's not necessarily a problem, but it doesn't seem to be a very reliable customer either. In any case, you don't have to count on creditworthiness.
They started with weekly shipments and advance payments without any problems. As usual with scams, the credit was slowly increasing and the false promises began. Fortunately, the Dutch exporter was able to stop the fraud reasonably early (a few weeks before All Saints Day), otherwise the damage would have been much bigger. Nevertheless, there is still a considerable outstanding debt.
After sending the first collection letter, AgroCheck was immediately contacted by telephone. A threatening voice with all kinds of accusations immediately gave us a flashback to a file from 2019 (read our newsletter here). We spoke to the exact same person as back then, only now he was not in Milan but in Sicily and had provided himself with a different name, company name and phone number. According to the scammer, our customer had broken the 'contract' because they stopped the deliveries. Logical, since the customer stopped paying. Again, this was the same argument used in 2019. It’s obviously a scam, and no further payment will be made.
The debtor is still in business and searching for new suppliers, so be careful! As they were previously trading with farms and cargo agencies in South America, there is a big chance that they are trying to buy flowers there as well. These scammers manage to cause large damages over and over again. For new clients, always ask for an AgroCheck credit report. The costs are low and you will easily gain profit from your membership fees. In most cases we easily find out if a company is doubtful!
Last Friday we also spotted another notorious defaulter from Southern Switzerland with a company that was only two weeks ago. He is actively approaching suppliers as well.
You have been warned… AgroCheck members who would like to know the name of this debtor, can contact us. We advise non-members to consider an AgroCheck membership. From only $450 per year you get full access to our database (35,000+ companies) and Warning list (2,800+ companies).