Fraud is staging a come back in the channel as crims gamble on the desperation of some fretful business owners in the harsh economic climate.
Stats from credit reference agency Graydon UK reveal a massive spike in fraud attempts, up 130 per cent for the first five months of 2011 to 214 cases, with company hijacking and cloned websites the primary methods.
Fraud always rises during economic meltdowns – numbers have risen sturdily since 2008 – but in the past distributors were largely the preferred victims, said Alan Norton, head of intelligence at Graydon.
"Distributors have bought or built sophisticated systems to identify fraud attempts but many resellers do not have that experience and are increasingly seen as easier targets," he told The Reg.
Company hijacking is not a new fraud variant; fraudsters submit to change a firm's details at Companies House, including a fresh address to send kit to, while cloned websites pilfer credit card details from consumers.
Some resellers are under financial pressure and often accept "deals that are too good to be true", said Norton, but they need to be more savvy, he said.
Graydon did not reveal specific names of businesses subjected to the fraud attempts. ®