Printing Industries launches online tool to fight scammers

“By accessing the list companies can quickly see whether the print quotation requests they have received which appear outside of their normal requests are from scammers already listed or contain the known elements of a scam,” said Joe Kowalewski, Printing Industries’ national communications and technical services manager. “Over 100 individual contacts have been identified from the hundreds of scam reports we have received.”

Some of the pseudonyms to be added to the list recently include Dr Fred Williams, Rev Francis Cooper, Rev Bill, Jackson Lennon, Bill Carter, Tony Way, John Larry, Fred Hitches, Steve Tom, Terry Tomson, Father Anthony, the Annex Company Ltd, Daily Orphanage Centre, White & Company Inc and Save the Children.

“Very often the scammers sign themselves as a church minister representing a charitable institution,” said Kowalewski. “Regular names are also used, often misspelt, including business names that may sound legitimate or similar to some known institutions.”

He said the estimated cost to the industry in responding to the fake print quotation requests would be enormous in Australia and “astonishing” internationally.

“The majority of companies targeted have a trail of correspondence with the scammers as they submitted their quotes and discussed specifications. All this takes chargeable time. In many cases poorly constructed artwork often accompanying the requests has been re-done to press quality. In some cases stock may have been ordered and production undertaken. In all cases there was a cost to the companies concerned, even if it was only in the correspondence time.”

More information on the print quotation scam, including tell-tale signs to look out for, is available at http://www.printnet.com.au/print_quotations.html.

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