Know who you are dealing with.
It’s not very difficult to create a replicated website from a actual suppliers website. With a sophisticated arsenal of online tools available it’s becoming easier by the day.
Signs that a website is has been hijacked.
- The most obvious is a browser warning that you may access potentially harmful site.
- Website address and email domain is not the same.
- Random redirects to other websites or content.
Do your own research
When you made up your mind on the supplier you selected to assist with your next shipping container build follow these steps as a guideline to give yourself some peace of mind.
- Verify that the supplier is a registered company and if they are a CFP verified supplier (Check Here)
- Check if the company has any negative reviews online. One such place to check is Hello Peter.
- Search Google for the company name and see if different variants of the domain name pops up. A sample of this would be www.company(a).co.za & www.company(aa).co.za (This is usually a tell tale sign of a replicated domain) Also regularly check Container Fraud Scam listing site to see if the company has been reported in the past.
TIP: Don’t discredit suppliers who have been a victim of online fraud, verify the company by paying them a visit.
- No supplier will get upset with you for asking their credentials or to inspect the goods being purchased. Scammers have been known to get impatient and rude when confronted to view goods, or asking for company information to verify their legitimacy.
- Banking details. Companies will rarely have money transferred to personal accounts unless its a start up outfit that started trading a week ago in which case you should know decide if this is the right option for you. Ask your bank to verify the business credentials before transferring funds.
- View the goods!! This is especially true for container sales. Stock should be available when you purchase so asking to view a container is a reasonable request. Should the supplier dispatch goods directly from South Africa’s major container depots an inspection can be arranged. Scammers will also arrange inspections but you will usually end up at no mans door, which is better than loosing your money.