Another channel firm has stepped forward to warn others about Pelican UK – a company it claims conned it out of a substantial amount of cash.
Last week, reseller Computer Communications Limited (CCL) spoke out, claiming £14,500 worth of HP servers were bought from it by Pelican with a cheque which later bounced. Today, distributor Channel-C told us that it has also fallen victim to the same company.
Channel-C's director Dominic Guilbert told CRN that "a substantial amount" of Cisco kit had been purchased by the firm last December – all with a cheque which bounced. He claimed he only realised the money had been taken back from the account at the very last minute, on a day which also happened to be the office Christmas party.
The goods were delivered to Pelican's registered office address in London before the distributor was aware of anything untoward. He said his firm is always meticulous when it comes to checking out new customers and fraud prevention, and that he had no idea how the alleged fraudsters managed to pull it off.
"I thought we had all bases covered and that we had all the checks in place to prevent this, but I didn't. I thought after so many years in business we had it all covered, and I was shocked and hurt about being taken for a ride," he said.
"We are so tight on these things – we have a checklist as long as your arm, especially for new customers, but they beat the system."
Guilbert said that before the fraud took place and further tightened its procedures, the firm carried out a series of checks on new customers, including looking for any past CCJs, changes of address or directors as well as account checks and filling in a series of forms for their records.
He added: "From now on, we don't deal with anyone who has not been targeted by us: that was the fallout. I would advise others to be as vigilant as you can and carry out as many checks as possible."
When CRN contacted Pelican last week, a man claiming to be a former employee answered the phone, and insisted he knew nothing of any fraudulent activity. When attempts were made to contact the firm today on the same number – as listed on its website – the call was not connected.
Both Guilbert and CCL boss Dennis Armstrong reported the alleged frauds and claim they are unaware of any progress being made into the investigation. The City of London police – the force to which Action Fraud passes fraud claims – was unavailable to comment.
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