ASI is urging everyone in the promotional products industry to be on alert for potential scams after a small handful of suppliers were targeted by thieves posing as distributors and using stolen credit cards or a stolen ASI number, to place orders.
Here’s how some of the scams work:
- Scammers generally claim to be a new company that needs products shipped immediately such as within seven days.
- Products ordered are often USBs, cell phone accessories and other electronics.
- They often, but not always, ask for blanks.
- The orders are often for large quantities.
- They use stolen credit cards – which may not yet be reported stolen – to pay for ordered products. Most of the cards are personal versus corporate cards, which is not unusual in this industry.
- They often ask to have products shipped to warehouses near airports.
ASI encourages anyone dealing with unfamiliar companies or with any suspicions to:
- Conduct due diligence, even if you believe you’re doing business with a familiar company.
- Verify a distributor has a credit history through ASI Connect, a prospecting tool that offers accurate and up-to-date credit info and demographics on industry distributors. If you need assistance accessing ASI Connect or would like a free trial, please contact ASI at 800-546-1350, and press No. 1 for customer service.
- If this is the first time you are doing business with a company, in addition to checking credit history in ASI Connect, make an outbound call to the corporate office telephone number found in ASI Connect to be sure they placed the order.
- If you have done business with the company before, it is still important that you check their credit history in ASI Connect and place a phone call to their corporate office to confirm they placed the order.
- Require prepayment in full via a certified check.
- Check the company address on Google maps to make sure the building exists.
- Ask the company to fax you a certificate of incorporation, reseller’s license or other government document.
If you have been or are targeted, report the fraud to your local police and/or report online crimes and credit card fraud to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Also report any unauthorized use of your credit card to your credit card company or bank.
If you have questions about your ASI membership, please contact ASI at 800-546-1350, and press No. 1 for customer service.