In the run-up to the festive season, there is usually an increase in the number of fraud cases.
Within the channel there has recently been a noticeable shift in deceptive activity away from distributors and towards resellers. Perhaps this is because many distributors have become wise to the fraudsters' tricks.
Resellers must become aware that they have been pushed into the front line and are at greater risk.
Eddie Pacey, group credit services manager at Bell Microproducts Europe, was right when he wrote in this column: "Resellers considering providing credit to customers should learn more about exactly whom they are dealing with."
The channel has seen a spate of incidents concerning people who use genuine company details for dishonest purposes, such as forging a signature to have goods delivered to an address in no way associated with the company the goods are claimed to be for.
It is vital that care is taken to check delivery addresses on orders secured from unfamiliar sources.
What steps can be taken to minimise the risk of fraud? Do not accept mobile phone numbers on credit application forms and be cautious of direct lines.
Try to obtain a switchboard number and have an operator put you through to your contact. This should substantiate client identities and provide a reference point.
Any organisation that offers credit must ensure that a credit assessment of the buyer has taken place. It must be noted that Companies House does not check financial statements filed with the registry.
Do not fall into the trap of assuming that, just because a company has filed its accounts, they are genuine. Fraudsters have been known to file false accounts to earn a credit rating.
The first place to check a firm's accounts is with its auditors. Credit reference agencies such as Graydon, Experian and Dun & Bradstreet have close links with the channel.
Channel fraudsters usually try to obtain certain types of products, such as laptops, ink cartridges, memory chips and digital cameras. They want small, high-value items which they can sell on easily for cash. Beware of unusually large orders for such products.
If you are aware of fraud, warn as many people as possible. A large enough case could put a reseller out of business which, in turn, may leave a supplier with a bad debt. The only way to combat these perpetrators is to be vigilant.
Alan Norton is head of intelligence at credit reference agency Graydon.
Nima Green asks what is driving public cloud uptake in Germany
In the wake of yet another lawsuit involving Oracle, we run through 10 of the vendor's biggest court battles
CEO Chuck Robbins says Cisco will use the Catalyst 9000 product range as a template for future launches
Today saw 14 of the UK IT channel's biggest hitters come together to determine the winners of CRN's WiC awards. But what does being a WiC judge actually involve? Doug Woodburn reports