Good news: An attempted fraud has been thwarted and the perpetrator arrested, as a result of a simple check by someone who was asked to release equipment.
Here, in brief, is what happened.
- Someone impersonating James Miller, a film maker, emailed Varavon, a video equipment manufacturer, using a fake email address, (firstname.lastname@example.org) requesting that they release some film equipment for review.
- Vavaron agreed, and requested that a London based company, Camera Kings London, supply the products to James Miller.
- An employee at Camera Kings texted James Miller using the number on his Vimeo page, and was told that no such review had been requested.
- Camera Kings contacted the Police, who set up a sting operation, and when the thief came to collect the kit, bearing a forged driving licence, he was arrested.
Three things worth noting here:
- The theft was prevented because someone decided to carry out a simple check which might have taken no more than 5 minutes.
- The Police, when offered the prospect of a nice easy arrest and conviction, were more than willing to co-operate.
- The fraudsters gathered all the information they needed to be convincing from online sources.
Although it has been quiet recently, the fraudsters haven’t gone away, so the rental community needs to remain vigilant.