'Storage Spoofing' in Tank Storage Magazine
"Whilst not a new phenomenon, fraudsters attempting to trick people out of significant sums of money are using more sophisticated techniques, prompting officials at the Port of Rotterdam to act," Jasmin McDermott reports in the new issue of Tank Storage Magazine, for which she spoke to our colleague Ronald Backers.
Storage Spoofing is an umbrella term to describe all varieties of the sale of non-existent storage capacities and stocks of resources and materials at the terminals in Rotterdam’s port area. The target for this kind of fraud are national and multinational companies that either operate or are looking for storage facilities in the port area, as well as all potential buyers of the goods stored at these terminals. These targets are usually not in the business of trading or storage and are new to the industry.
‘This is not a new phenomenon,’ says Ronald Backers, business intelligence adviser for the Port of Rotterdam Authority. ‘It has been going on for at least five or six years. These transactions are often accompanied by all sorts of documents, which involve a variety of forged stamps and certificates. We also usually receive enquiries to our general email address asking for storage of JP54 and that they need it immediately.'
You can find the original post including several more sections of the interview on the Tank Storage Magazine website, however the full article is for subscribers only.
Storage spoofing isn't new, but 'in the last year and a half to two years these fake terminal websites have popped up suddenly,' Ronald also mentioned in the TSM interview. 'In a bid to make their business offering more authentic and official, fraudsters have turned to creating fake storage terminal websites,' the article goes on.
‘It makes it look more real than it is,’ says Backers. ‘They are saying, ‘look we really have these terminals and here is our website to prove it’. This makes it more difficult to spot what a fake terminal is.' (...). 'It is quite sophisticated – they try to use existing names, and in doing so they abuse these names. I have heard stories of people who have paid out more than €1 million and then lost that money.’
One of the steps we've taken to prevent people from being defrauded is the construction of our blacklist of suspicious websites, which you can find at ferm-rotterdam.nl/blacklist. The continuously updated list is now well over 120 websites long, so be sure to check it out.