NEW YORK The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) has
issued a warning to its member affiliates about fraudulent
business offers involving nonexistent scrap cargoes.
According to BIR, there have been several cases involving
cargoes of scrap metalmostly copperoffered to
member companies at below-market prices. The companies were
provided with documents, which were later confirmed to have
been forged, verifying the quality of the goods.
In several cases, the same documents had been presented
on multiple occasions with different company names, BIR
These documents were either being provided by the same
individual or were made available in the public domain,
allowing any number of individuals to forge and manipulate the
details of the transaction, the BIR said.
Even more troubling, the fraudsters used the names of real
traders active in international markets to bolster
They also created ghost websites with domain names
and layouts similar to those of genuine trading companies and
major cargo firms but with inaccurate contact information,
including telephone numbers and e-mail addresses.
The London-based ICC International Maritime Bureau has since
learned that some of the telephone numbers listed on those
sites were generated in Nigeria, BIR said.
Should funds be transferred, customers would have very little
legal recourse, according to BIR. Law enforcement will
typically not get involved in cases outside of their
jurisdiction, especially if the funds transferred amount to
less than $100,000.
Its certainly not the first time this has
happened, Robert Stein, president of BIRs
nonferrous division and senior vice president of nonferrous
marketing at St. Louis-based Alter Trading Corp., told AMM Jan.
23. Some of the documents can look very similar to the
real thing. It really comes down to knowing your