We have been made aware of several attempts by scam artists to target AMSOIL Dealers while posing as legitimate companies, including recent attempts by someone posing as a representative from Pfizer. It is important to be wary of scam attempts during the ordering process. If an opportunity seems too good to be true, it may be a scam. Be wary of the following warning signs:
• Unusually large orders or unusual product selection
• Email domain name doesn’t match the legitimate company’s website address
• Names on the account, credit card or shipping address don’t match
• Multiple orders with different shipping addresses
• Multiple payment methods used or offered
• “New” businesses with no online presence
• Price isn’t an issue and registering as a customer is too inconvenient
• Caller ID is different than phone number used on account
• Speed is important
• Unusual shipping locations, including trucking company depots, storage facilities, vacant buildings, apartments and package-forwarding services
• Retail businesses (resellers) that aren’t concerned about paying sales taxes
While there can be legitimate reasons for some of these unusual situations, Dealers are well-advised to perform additional research. A couple minutes of online research by name, business name, address and telephone number can usually confirm whether an opportunity is legitimate. Asking customers a few questions about the type of business, how products will be used, who is the end customer and billing details associated with credit cards can also be helpful. Consumers are used to providing this type of information, and these questions can help identify fraudulent activities. If you have doubts, do more research, decline the opportunity and advise AMSOIL/others to look out for similar activities.
Do not rely on credit card authorization processes to determine if payment is valid. Transactions with stolen credit cards will be authorized until the theft or fraudulent activity is identified, but credit/debit card companies will charge back merchants for all fraudulent charges. In some cases this can take 90 or more days after the sale. At this point, there is little chance of retrieving products or identifying the customer.
Protect yourself and your Dealership by doing your homework and knowing who you’re selling to. Remember, it is your responsibility to avoid selling products to another Dealer’s protected customers and to ensure your customers aren’t attempting to pass stolen credit cards or resell products online.