Urgent Fraud Warning: Several cases of fraud in the ordering and delivery of EPAL Euro pallets
We have learned that around the turn of the year 2022/2023 several cases of fraud in the ordering and delivery of EPAL Euro pallets have occurred. These cases concern licensees of EPAL, which produce EPAL Euro pallets, but also other companies, which deliver EPAL Euro pallets to their customers. In the current cases, the fraudulent orders are placed in the alleged name of French companies. However, comparable cases from other countries are also known from the past.
The current fraud cases concern the following already known facts:
The alleged customer, in fact a fraudster, orders the delivery of a truckload of EPAL Euro pallets, often several truckloads.
In this case, the order is placed in the name of a company that either has a well-known name or has a website that indicates a large company and therefore inspires confidence. Often, these are companies located abroad, so the supplier has limited ability to understand the information on the website and compare it with the information in the fraudster's email.
In fact, the order is not placed by the specified well-known or large company, but by a fraudster who misuses the name and often the other company details of the well-known or large company (e.g. brand, contact details, etc.).
The correspondence for processing the order is then not carried out via the contact details of the known company, but via an e-mail address and/or telephone number of the fraudster, which often differ only slightly from the correct contact details.
In this way, the fraudster arranges for the delivery of a large number of pallets without prepayment, and the unloading of the pallets takes place in an alleged pallet or goods warehouse of the known company. In fact, however, the unloading sites are not areas that can be assigned to this known company.
After unloading the pallets, the fraudster is either unreachable or demands delivery of more pallets as a condition for payment of the purchase price. In all cases known to us, no payment has ever been made, not even a partial payment.
We therefore strongly recommend that if you receive an order for EPAL Euro pallets from a company with which you have no previous business relationship, you always request payment in advance for the pallets. Alternatively, there is of course the possibility to inquire by phone or e-mail via the contact details on the correct website of the known company whether a person with the name of the purchaser is employed by the company and is authorized to order EPAL Europallets.
Important indications for the existence of a fraud case are:
first-time order by a company not previously known to you as a business partner
order of a larger number of EPAL Euro pallets
Order from abroad
no inquiries or negotiations about price and quality of EPAL Euro pallets
Refusal of advance payment
Of course, not all cases in which individual points mentioned above are fulfilled constitute an attempt to defraud. However, if several points are fulfilled, and in particular an advance payment of the full purchase price or a partial amount of the purchase price is refused, you should check very thoroughly whether it is an attempt at fraud.
In case of doubt, please feel free to contact us, EPAL International, or the EPAL National Committees. We will try to assist you in clarifying the authenticity of the delivery request.
Please inform us if you receive a supply request yourself, which according to your evaluation is a fraud attempt, so that we can inform all EPAL licensees.
Please note that from the past also reverse cases are known, in which by fraudsters the delivery of EPAL euro pallets is offered against prepayment, often at a strikingly low price. After payment of the purchase price to a foreign account (prepayment), in these cases the alleged seller can no longer be reached, as well as no delivery of pallets takes place.