In this fast moving, head spinning, quick talking world we live in nowadays, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see that even fraudsters have speeded up their activities. Not so long ago, commercial fraudsters used to go in for something called long firm frauds. This involved building up a good credit history with suppliers by paying on time for small amounts of goods over a period of time, then placing larger orders without any intention of paying, receiving the goods then disappearing.
What we’ve seen in the last couple of years is the emergence of the MTV generation of fraudsters- these people can’t be bothered to go through all that hanging around…..it’s far too boring! No, what these guys do is file fictitious but good looking accounts at Companies Registry on a recently acquired shelf company, place large orders with new suppliers hoping that the latter will check out their creditworthiness at the CRO, then disappear when the goods are delivered. This new phenomenon is being referred to as “short firm” fraud.
Credit agencies like Graydon and Experian also buy this potentially dangerous accounts information from companies house, but unlike the CRO, we digitise the data, and then analyse it to try and identify this type of rogue outfit before it has a chance to perpetrate the fraud. For example, how can a bona fide company build up a turnover of 20 million pounds as seen on a newly filed set of accounts filed at Companies Registry, without Graydon attracting a single enquiry from any of its customers on that particular concern during the same period under review? That in itself would be very fishy indeed.
Its certainly keeping everyone in the industry on their toes, that’s for sure.
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