(South Africa)


Helping you start and build your small business empire

Scam - bogus order

If you've been in business for a while, the chances are you've come across persons of debatable moral standing who have tried to steal some of your hard earned money through fraud or con tricks. We will periodically publish examples of these scams on this page in an effort to make you the small business owner aware of them and hopefully prevent you from becoming a victim. The business world is competitive enough for us not wanting our meager profits being stolen by con men. The new scams will be featured in our newsletters so we strongly recommend that you register for the newsletter so that you don't miss any. Information is power.

The "bogus order" fraud.

 This nasty little trick can not only cost you a fair whack, it may also damage your relationship with your customer as you try to blame others for your mishap.  

How it works:  The crook will phone through an order for your goods pretending to be a buyer from one of your existing customers.  He will use some excuse to have the goods delivered to a different location (Eg: please deliver directly to our construction site / directly to our customer at...) or will arrange to have the goods collected from your premises.  Like a good supplier you do as you are told to make life easy for your valued customer.  However when it comes time for payment, your real customer knows nothing about the phantom order and of course doesn't pay for it.  In the mean time the crook has had plenty of time to disappear with your goods and chances are you have no idea who it was. 

How to prevent it:   1) Know your customers.  If there is a new voice placing an order, phone back to confirm something  on the order. 2) Whenever goods are collected, write down the vehicle registration number on your copy of the delivery note or invoice.  3) Always confirm large orders with you customer.  Phone simply to thank them if you have to, but find a way to check they know about it even if it has been faxed or emailed.

The subject matter dealt with on this site is of a general nature only. It is always advisable to consult a professional for your specific situation. All information provided on this site has been carefully chosen and is to the best of our knowledge correct and current. If however you find errors, broken links or disagree with facts provided, please contact us at so that we can make the correction and provide South African business owners with relevant and error free factual information. If you believe there is relevant content missing and you wish to add this value to the site, then you can contact us at the same address

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