Traders warned of large cheque scam

A Norwich businessman is warning businesses to be on their guard after he foiled an audacious scam from an individual based in Nigeria. Jerry Beringer, general manager of Driver Motor Sales at Aylsham Road Motor Company in Norwich, reported the con to Norfolk County Council's trading standards department.

A Norwich businessman is warning businesses to be on their guard after he foiled an audacious scam from an individual based in Nigeria.

Jerry Beringer, general manager of Driver Motor Sales at Aylsham Road Motor Company in Norwich, reported the con to Norfolk County Council's trading standards department.

Mr Beringer received correspond-ence from an individual who had spotted a car he was interested in on an automotive trade site. After inquiring about the car in the first email and getting a response from Mr Beringer, the individual emailed Driver Motor Sales back to inform them that he had put a cheque in the post which was for a greater amount than the asking price and would like the difference to be wire transferred back to him.

The cheque soon arrived in a Nigerian stamped envelope and since then the individual has attempted to pressurise Mr Beringer to secure the transfer.

Mr Beringer, said: "The first email I received was a standard inquiry but as soon as I received the second email telling me that the buyer had put a cheque in the post well in excess of the asking price for the car and wanted me to wire transfer the difference back to him, I knew this was a scam.

"I got straight in contact with Norfolk County Council trading standards, as I wouldn't want anyone to fall foul of this. I also got in contact with the bank which the cheque came from, who informed me that they had dealt with a few of these lately."

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Conrad Meehan, trading standards officer at Norfolk County Council, said: "This type of scam has operated in quite a few guises, all of which are covered in our new business guidance, but this one specifically sees the victim receiving a large overpayment for goods or services, then asked to pay the excess back, only to probably find at a later date that the original payment was made on a counterfeit cheque or banker's draft.

"If you receive a suspicious request for information or money, ignore it."

For more information, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/scams