Wholesalers and suppliers have been warned of an impersonation scam.

According to the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD), there has been a rise in the number of incidents of suppliers being phoned up by criminals claiming to be a wholesaler and ordering stock to be sent to a legitimate address.

Once the delivery is underway, the driver is then contacted and given an alternative address. The legitimate wholesaler knows nothing of the situation until an invoice is sent to them. Overseas suppliers have been particularly susceptible to this scam.

FWD criminal intelligence data analyst Isabel Koppel said legitimate UK wholesalers had faced legal proceedings as suppliers attempt to recover their losses. She advised any supplier to check the order back with the wholesaler via the company’s switchboard.

Delivery staff are also advised to drop only at the original address and to immediately report any suspicious activity such as attempts to direct the vehicle to an alternative destination.