Monday, September 16, 2019

Freight and Logistics Group Warns of Scam Doing the Rounds

This Time its Artists Who are Targeted in Shipping Fraud
Shipping News Feature

UK – A quick trawl through the Handy Shipping Guide News search facility will reveal several dozen articles about scams perpetuated on or in the freight and logistics sector. We have indeed had our own name quoted on false airway bills and other documents. Now another attempt at criminal deception has been brought to our attention.

Anton Gunter, managing director of Global Freight Services in Telford tells us that, over the last 12 months, the firm has become aware of a significant increase in the number of international fraud cases involving the shipment of valuable art work. He is now warning artists across the Midlands to be on their guard and said other small businesses should also be mindful of similar scams.

It seems fraudsters involved in the scam are contacting artists and, in some cases, placing orders for art work worth thousands of pounds. They are then convincing artists that they have organised shipment of the goods through a genuine freight company and are requesting artists then make an up-front payment to reimburse the transportation costs.

Global Freight has been working with businesses for more than 20 years helping to import and export goods to and from countries all over the world and has a track-record when it comes to assisting artists who require their work to be shipped abroad. Mr Gunter said:

“Artists up and down the UK are being targeted by fraudsters portraying as genuine art collectors. It’s the biggest scam we’ve seen in the shipping industry for many years and we want as many small business owners as possible to be aware.

“We have been contacted by numerous artists across the UK who have fallen victim to this type of deception and we want to make sure it stops. As a company you should never arrange for goods to be shipped before receiving payment from a customer or until you are in receipt of a legal document which outlines when payment will be made.

“If businesses are ever asked to reimburse costs for a shipment which has been arranged directly by the customer, this should set alarm bells ringing and they should seek advice. We know from conversations we have had with artists that this type of scam has left many of them feeling distressed and concerned and we hope by raising awareness we can reduce the number of victims.”

The practice of scamming artists keen to sell their works is not new. The website Artwork Archive has an interesting article on how to recognise and avoid falling for such schemes. There is also the Stop Art Scams blog. We would not recommend even answering obvious scammers but some may admire artist Lori Corbett who deals with them and reveals the details in her own blog. Any artists or businesses concerned they may be at the centre of a shipping scam should contact the police or Action Fraud.