1/1/2018

Never underestimate caution when doing business

Advice for Czech businesses.



Although it is a very small volume, the Embassy in London has registered multiple attempts of fraudulent business relations between the Czech Republic and the UK. Czech companies and citizens are becoming victims of fraud, for example, when ordering construction and agricultural machinery, cars, consumer electronics, household appliances, etc. through British companies' websites and through advertisements, and also when delivering goods to unverified entities pretending to be UK businesses.


These cases often demonstrate a misuse of data from existing UK companies to establish and operate fictitious online trade (tractors, excavators, JCB, mobiles, washing machines, refrigerators, but also grain, etc.). The second type of fraud is the ordering and collecting of Czech goods by fraudsters, supposedly acting on behalf of existing British companies, and never delivering the goods. After the payment / delivery of the goods, the alleged seller / buyer usually stops communicating and the funds are often irretrievably lost.


Therefore, we would like to point out that entrepreneurs should pay attention not only to the low price of the goods they order from the UK, but also to the commercially attractive volume of goods ordered by a UK company and especially the details of the supply / demand / transaction that may indicate fraudulent behaviour.


Any seemingly advantageous offer or demand must be considered with full awareness of all possible risks. According to the British Metropolitan Police, there is an increasing number of identity theft. Some specialised websites dealing with this issue can also provide guidelines to recognising fraudulent activities, such as: www.scamadviser.com and www.scamwarners.com.


In addition, this dedicated website of the British Police on the subject of business fraud includes, among other things, practical advice on how to avoid trading problems such as: be skeptical of tempting offers, ask business partners for references, verify their contact details, insist on a personal visit to business partner's headquarters, communicate with a business partner through a landline, and many more: please download the following brochure for more information.


In case of any doubt about the business relationship with a British entity you may have, please contact the Embassy of the Czech Republic in London: oeu.london@embassy.mzv.cz. It is easier to prevent fraud than to deal with possible consequences.


More information can be found on the website of the Czech Embassy in London – please click here to access it (in Czech).


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