This website uses cookies

Like so many other websites, we use cookies to personalise content, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media and analytics partners, who may combine it with other information that you've provided to them or that they've collected from your use of their services. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website.

Do you fully understand and consent to our use of cookies?

Back to all articles
  • Jancis Robinson
Written by
  • Jancis Robinson
6 Aug 2015

11 September Deep sigh. The action goes on. Several times a week we receive enquiries from people who have received similar emails supposedly from Nick and asking whether they are genuine. The fraudster always attempts to place huge orders. Whatever does he do with the goods that do arrive, I wonder? I have re-reported it to Action Fraud. Very frustrating.

6 August Amazingly, this fraudster is continuing to work his way through whichever directories of email addresses he has run to earth and is still sending out emails pretending to be Nicholas Lander of JancisRobinson Ltd at editorials@jancirobinson.com (NB missing S) and wanting to buy goods to be sent to him in south London. Please, please tell anyone you know in the wine business (and dried-fruit business, to which an email was sent yesterday) to ignore these emails. As I say, I have reported all details to both the police via Action Fraud and to the UK customs authorities but have not heard any more from them. But presumably the fact that he is still issuing emails means that he is having some success in conning goods out of over-eager exporters.

19 June We now know the delivery address from which this fraudster is operating (and his mobile number) thanks to the vigilance of someone in the UK whose wine merchant brother-in-law was about to ship 28 pallets of wine to him. He wrote to me earlier today: 'I think they may be becoming more sophisticated. They provided a seemingly authentic Letter of Credit, supposedly issued by Barclays (see attached). The beneficiary's Spanish bank confirmed its authenticity(!). However, the tone of the emails (including the one from Barclays) led me to believe that something wasn't quite right, so I called Barclays' trade desk support to verify the LC issue which in turn proved to be false.'

Here's an extract from an email supposedly written by 'export manager of JancisRobinson Ltd' Nicholas Lander:  

It was nice talking to you over the phone earlier.

After our conversation over the could you please find our warehouse address including Excise number and warehouse ID number regarding the transport cost.

Our bank will send you the performance guarantee standby letter of credit for 14 days payment from date of invoice on 03/062015 Wednesday before shipping asap.

We are very happy to become regular customers that mean long-term cooperation.

Excise number: GBWK506829337
Warehouse ID number: GB00001722530
WAREHOUSE ADDRESS:
UNIT 7 BURGESS
BUSINESS PARK
10-12 PARKHOUSE
SE5 7TJ
London / UK.

Thanks as we hope to establish a long business relationship with your company.

We are looking forwards to hear from you as soon as possible.

I have of course reported this further development to Action Fraud, the police division concerned with online crime, but I do hope no one has been taken in by this.

2 June Early last Friday a wine merchant based in Carcassonne forwarded the following email to me from the subtly-different-from-ours email address, editorials at jancirobinson dot com (note the missing S on Jancis): 

Dear Sir, 

We are a company based in the united kingdom and We would like to inquire about your products (Food,Wine,Champagne,etc...) 

We will be very please to build a business relationship with your company on a long term contract.

So this will be at the same time an opportunity to establish a permanent business relationship.

We strongly believe in the principle of working together as partners.

In which everyone benefits - and these long-term relationships are vital to the continuing success of both parties.

So we would be appreciate if you could send us your price list of : Wine, Champagne,Whisky for our order confirmation.

And in the meantime, also open a credit line 14 days payment from date of invoice by credit insurance.

For more information please feel free to visit our website at http://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles

Our terms of payment Strictly net 14 days payment from date of invoice after credit insurance this is not negotiable we are looking for wine suppliers to build strong relationships The key of success, both-parties-satisfied.

Thanks as we hope to establish a long business relationship with your company.

We are looking forwards to hear from you as soon as possible.

With best regards,

Nicholas Lander

Export Manager

www.jancisrobinson.com

JANCISROBINSON Ltd

Tel:+44 (0)8006891849

Fax:+44 (0)2080430299

editorials@jancirobinson.com

export@jancirobinson.com

nicholas.lander@jancirobinson.com

Just above the telephone and fax numbers and the email addresses (none of them having any connection to us) is given our personal address and the number and VAT number of our company  - all of these details freely available from Companies House in the UK. 

Soon after receiving this I sent an email to editorials@jancirobinson.com telling whichever fraudster was behind the attempted scam to stop, pointing out it was highly damaging to the genuine JancisRobinson.com. Later that day a wine trader based in Spain kindly forwarded me an identical email he had received, together with the complete details of the header, IP address etc, which yielded frustratingly little.

I phoned the 0800 number at the bottom of the email and got a series of recorded messages such as 'For customer service press 1, for exports press 2' etc. I pressed 1 and, when no one answered, rang off. Less than 30 minutes later my phone rang (a very rare occurrence; I have almost entirely swapped phone for email) and a gentleman with a very deep, very unEuropean voice claimed, as soon as he heard my voice, to be seeking 'Pete in transport'. I challenged him, pointing out that I suspected he was the behind these scam emails. He insisted that he must have dialled a wrong number. I heard him looking down at my number (which begins 0207) and claiming he had wanted the same number that begins with 0208 (which does not, of course, exist as a genuine telephone number).

For a short while we were worried that our extremely securely stored list of email recipients had been hacked, since both of the first two merchants to bring this to our attention are members of JancisRobinson.com. But since then it has become clear that the fraudster has been accessing lists of wine traders based in continental Europe that have nothing whatsoever to do with us. And is still sending out these emails today, Tuesday.

Just in, for example, is this comment from Sarah Chadwick, who represents Dourthe, yet another recipient of the badly written email above:

'We receive scam emails similar to this regularly but normally taking the identity of BBR [Berry Bros & Rudd], Sainsburys, etc. This takes scamming to new heights.'

It is a well-known ruse for a fraudster to try to order and have delivered expensive wines and spirits to an accommodation address and then to scarper without paying for them. But this scam - attempting to establish credibility as a wine buyer by pretending to be my husband, the well-known 'export manager' of JancisRobinson.com, reaches new levels of stupidity. I spend quite a bit on wine admittedly, but in general wine writers are not known to be major purchasers of high-value wines and spirits. And, I would hope, quite a few of the recipients of this email would know that (a) I am not in the business of establishing long-term trading partnerships with wine merchants and (b) I do actually know how to spell and punctuate.

Please do forward any instances of this pernicious correspondence to editorial@jancisrobinson.com (sic) but for heaven's sake ignore it otherwise.