Bogus firm scammers swindle rebar suppliers

Aaron Morby 2 weeks ago

Scammers are targeting rebar suppliers to order deliveries in the name of bogus or cloned firms that vanish without paying.

Around 250 tonnes of mesh is known to have been stolen
Around 250 tonnes of mesh is known to have been stolen

The sudden outbreak of orders from bogus and cloned firms has caused the industry trade body to raise the alarm about the swindle.

More than £112,000 of mesh has been reported to have gone missing in the last week alone.

But the British Association of Reinforcement believes the full extent of the scam has not fully come to light and could run into millions of pounds.

Steve Elliott, BAR chairman, said: “These are sophisticated scams and reinforcement suppliers are strongly advised to carry out stringent checks right down to the telephone number.

“Be cautious if the delivery address is an isolated warehouse with no construction going on or if the priced agreed is higher than the real worth.”

The use of clone companies to defraud manufacturers and suppliers has been seen in isolated cases for years, particularly in the plant and equipment side.

But now the fraudsters are switching to the rebar industry as the price of mesh hits £450 a tonne.

The latest attacks also suggest that fraudsters are now more sophisticated and systematic.

One supplier said he believed his supplies had been sold on as imported Italian mesh with forged certificates.

BAR has warned suppliers to tighten up on vetting and due diligence procedures. Credit insurers have said they will not cover any loss if they believe that sufficient background checks have not been made.

Some bogus companies have slipped through supplier checks in the latest spate of attacks.

Around 250 tonnes of mesh is known to have been stolen with one fabricator hit for 100 tonnes.

But the problem is feared to be a lot bigger as scammers move to use ‘clone’ genuine companies to place orders.

Here a reputable company is cloned. All will be correct apart from the telephone numbers and email addresses.

The clone company takes delivery of reinforcement mesh and then sells the mesh on.

Elliott said: “This make it essential that the reinforcement sector continues to share information to beat the scammers.”


Latest news

Construction arm drives Mace to record profit

Revenue expected to top £2bn this year despite project delays
34 mins ago

Sisk fixes price on £227m Quintain flats job

Quintain signs single-largest contract so far at Wembley Park
43 mins ago

Rising costs tip William Hare to £3.6m loss

Specialist contractor falls into the red despite near 60% revenue rise to £220m
22 hours ago

Safety blitz on “aches, pains and strains” on site

1,000 site visits planned in coming months to check how workers are moving heavy or bulky materials
23 hours ago

Drones sent flying underground to check sewers

Traditional inspection teams replaced with latest technology
4 hours ago

Plan submitted for 470 Preston flats scheme

Stoneygate Central scheme on Dryden Mill site will rise to 16 storeys
4 hours ago

Graham starts £124m M25 Junction 28

Work on the 36-month Junction 28 upgrade includes constructing a major two-lane loop road
3 hours ago

Keltbray bags brace of energy infrastructure wins

Civils work on huge converter stations worth £30m to specialist
21 hours ago

Balfour Beatty sole winner for £4bn Scape civils deals

Contractor reappointed to England, Wales and Northern Ireland and separate Scottish deals
1 day ago

PR expert Baroness Rock to chair Costain

Kate Rock will take up senior board role at the end of the year
1 day ago

Billington profit upgrade after strong first-half

Steelwork contractor says weaker pound will allow it to reignite its old export markets in Europe
1 day ago

Green light for £120m Liverpool “super restaurant”

Historic Pumphouse at Stanley Dock to be transformed
2 days ago

Tolent bags £15m Sunderland skills academy

Work to start later this year on Housing Innovation and Construction Skills Academy
1 day ago

Government launches net zero review

Pro-growth and pro-business review of net zero 2050 target launches
2 days ago

L&G Modular wins 400-home Wolverhampton job

Modular specialist wins 17-acre Canalside South regeneration scheme
2 days ago

£1.2bn A12 upgrade accepted for planning

15-mile Essex road upgrade between Chelmsford and Colchester aims for 2023/24 start
2 days ago

US consultant trumps WSP bid for RPS Group

Tetra Tech swoops but WSP could come back with new offer if bidding war breaks out
2 days ago

Sisk hands staff £900 cost of living cash boost

Firm also promises staff £400 Christmas voucher in November
2 days ago

Loathed IR35 reforms scrapped by Chancellor

Contractors will no longer have to determine tax status of freelance workers
5 days ago

Higgins signs deal for 740 West London homes

Work to start this autumn on two Hayes housing estate rebuilds
2 days ago

Kier wins Sefton net zero £36m school job

Deyes High School in Maghull will consist of 60 classrooms
2 days ago

Giant TBM cutterhead takes road trip to second drive

Balfour Beatty Vinci to drag remaining TBM back through tunnel for second bore
5 days ago

Fast-track 138-project growth plan – full list

Chancellor banks on road projects to lead growth plan recover
5 days ago

Kwarteng backs construction to lead “new era for Britain”

Planning rules to be ripped-up to speed infrastructure work as 38 new Investment Zones created
6 days ago

Green light for next two Manchester NOMA jobs

Work to start early next year on first of two major office buildings
5 days ago

Bouygues struggles to raise profitability

Loss-making contracts dent pre-tax profit at £835,000 from revenue up at £484m
5 days ago

Architect helps staff with £1,000 cost of living cash

P+HS Architects to make one-off payments this autumn
5 days ago

Sisk wins £69m rerouting of landslip-prone A59

Site clearance to start next month at Kex Gill in Yorkshire
6 days ago

Renewal race starts for £800m NEPO framework

Nearly 20 firms face fight to renew places on north east construction panel
5 days ago

Avonside supply chain left holding £17m in unpaid bills

Former bosses revealed as buyers of branches from administrators
6 days ago

Contractor services