Fraudulent Emails and Purchase Orders
An important message for existing and potential suppliers to the Henry Boot Group of Companies (“the Group”).
We want to alert you to a fraud scam that is targeting existing and potential suppliers of equipment to the Group, as well as other businesses, nationally and globally. Please take the necessary precautions so that you are not a victim of this scam.
The scam operates in the following way:
- A supplier will receive an email or phone call requesting a quotation for specific item/s of equipment. These may be in large or small quantities and of low to high values
- Once the quotation has been provided, a purchase order is emailed to the supplier that bears resemblance to an authentic Group purchase order
- The purchase order typically instructs delivery to an address that may or may not be affiliated with the Group
- After shipping the item/s of equipment, the supplier never receives payment and is unable to retrieve the shipped products
Identifying fraudulent emails and purchase orders
The following will be evident in these fraudulent emails and purchase orders:
- An incorrect domain name will be used to send emails and purchase orders. Ensure you verify the order is valid with the Group. We advise all suppliers to consult with their IT or cyber security advisors to ensure they remain vigilant and informed on how to identify a suspicious communication.
- The delivery address may or may not be a Group address. Fraudulent addresses will typically be a domestic residence or a self-storage facility, often not anywhere near a Group address. Or, the delivery address may be a genuine Group address, which is later changed or redirected.
- The email will often be poorly written with grammatical, spelling or language usage errors.
- Use of a false or unknown contact from the Group may be used. If requests for quotations or purchase orders are received from a new Group contact that raises your suspicion, please contact us via the relevant contact details set out below or a known Group contact to verify the validity of the request. Do not contact the name/number used on the email/purchase order.
- The e mail may use names of the Group’s senior management team as contacts – note that senior managers and Board members will never be the first point of contact in a purchasing query.
- Phone numbers (particularly mobile numbers) not associated with the Group may be used. Typically, a mobile number may be a “personal number” starting with “070”. The Group will never use a mobile number as a first contact number for a purchase.
- The order can be for a variety of products and may or may not be for products normally purchased by the Group.
- Various quantities may be requested but many will be for large orders.
- Orders may request to ship priority or overnight.
If you are ever unsure about a quotation request sent by email, or the subsequent purchase order, please contact us via the details below or a known Group contact.
Please do not attempt to call any phone numbers contained within the fraudulent emails that purport to be Group numbers as they may attract a service charge.
Advice for Suppliers
In addition to the above information, suppliers should note the following:
- If you are ever unsure about a quotation request sent by email, or the subsequent purchase order, please contact us via the details below or a known Group contact
- Please do not attempt to call any phone numbers contained within the fraudulent emails that purport to be Group numbers as they may attract a large, international service charge
- Consult with your IT or cyber security advisors to ensure all are informed on how to identify a suspicious communication
- Report the incident on Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. You can report fraud or cybercrime using their online reporting service at any time; the service enables suppliers to both report a fraud and find help and support. You can also get help by calling 0300 123 2040 to speak to their fraud and internet crime specialists. When you report to Action Fraud you will receive a police crime reference number. Reports taken are passed to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau. Action Fraud does not investigate cases and cannot advise you on the progress of a case.
You can find an example of this here.
What we are doing
The Group is, wherever possible, reporting all instances of known fraudulent activity to the Police via Action Fraud.
Keeping relevant Group staff members aware of all activities and updates to this situation.
Henry Boot Construction Limited - firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.henrybootconstruction.co.uk/contact-us
Banner Plant Limited - http://www.bannerplant.co.uk/contact
Please find below details of evidence of 'boiler room scams', guidance on what to do if you have received a call and advice on how to avoid unsolicited calls in the future.
We are legally obliged to make our share register available to the general public. Consequently some shareholders may receive unsolicited mail, including correspondence from unauthorised investment companies.
We have been advised by shareholders, on several occasions, that they have received telephone calls or written communications which appear to originate from one or more of the following sources:
- Overseas addresses;
- Phone or written correspondence by companies offering to buy their shares at varying inflated prices;
- Offering to acquire shares at a premium for an unidentified buyer;
- Telling the shareholder that a ‘non-disclosure’ arrangement would be required;
- Requesting an up-front payment for a ‘bond’ as security.
The nature of these communications is not clear however they are likely to be some form of fraud such as a ‘boiler room scam’.
Share scams are often run from ‘boiler rooms’ where fraudsters cold-call potential or existing investors offering them worthless, overpriced or even non-existent shares, or offering to buy shares at a premium while they promise high returns, those who invest usually end up losing their money.
Share fraud usually comes out of the blue, with scammers cold-calling investors after taking their phone number from publicly available telephone lists. The high-pressure sales tactics can also come by email, post, word of mouth or at a seminar. These scams are sometimes advertised in newspapers, magazines or online as genuine investment opportunities. You will often be told that you need to make a quick decision or miss out on the deal.
Please note that Henry Boot PLC (‘the Company’) would never make unsolicited calls to shareholders.
As is often said, if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Don’t be pressured into making a quick decision.
Take care and treat any calls or mail with suspicion; even professional looking websites can be easily created.
We advise our shareholders to be extremely wary of such calls and correspondence. You should make sure that you only deal with the Company itself or financial services firms that are authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’). The FCA keeps a register of authorised firms.
If you are concerned, you can report scam calls to the FCA at www.fca.org.uk or by calling 0800 111 6768.
Alternatively, if you have any questions, you can also email the Company at email@example.com or contact Group Company Secretariat on 0114 255 5444.
- Protect yourself and check out any investment thoroughly. You can find out more information about boiler room scams on the FCA website https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart/share-bond-boiler-room-scams. You can also check if the firm is authorised to do business by the FCA. If you deal with an unauthorised firm, you would not be eligible to receive payment under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
- You should be aware that if you hold a share certificate, your name and address details are shown on the public register and this is one of the ways that boiler room operators can obtain your details.
- You can protect your privacy by considering moving your shares into a nominee account.
Henry Boot PLC have been made aware of an offer of employment and supposed appointment letter circulating in India from an agency known as Matrix Tech Overseas and Jerry International purporting to be from "Henry Boot Constructions" and offering employment with Henry Boot Construction Limited in the UK.
Henry Boot Construction Limited is not seeking to hire employees in India and has not authorised any agency to act on its behalf in India.
The offer and letters should be treated as fraudulent and not actioned. Any such letters should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org