SIBUR specialists analysing the processes observed in the Russian Federation sales market note the steadily increasing incidence of fraud aimed at market participants purchasing petrochemicals and refined products.
Fraudsters, who exploit the credulity and inadvertence of market participants, offer them to buy products of leading Russian companies under fictitious and valid contracts, by concluding fictitious supplemental agreements and specifications. Sham transactions are usually carried out with the participation of a subagent to which prepaid funds are transferred. The formula involves leading manufacturers acting as the supplier, consignor and transaction warrantor. Fraudsters negotiate with the fraud target over email, by disseminating commercial proposals and holding telephone conversations on behalf of representatives of well-known manufacturers. They avoid in-person meetings under all possible pretexts. Once the funds are credited to the fraudster’s account, the subagent’s representative disappears. The situation is becoming even more complicated since fraudsters can now use forged sender addresses making them look as if the email originates from a domain of a well-known company (email spoofing).
In view of the growing incidence of fraud committed by persons who impersonate employees of SIBUR sales units, it is advisable:
1. Upon receipt of a commercial proposal by email or other anonymised communication channels, make sure that the person contacting you by telephone or email is a real SIBUR employee. In order to do that, you should make a verification call to the corporate number +7 (495) 777-55-00 (published on the official website www.sibur.ru), ask to connect you to the employee introduced to you when the contact was made and talk to that employee to make sure that he/she was exactly the person with whom you negotiated and corresponded. The full names and contact numbers of current managers of the company’s Sales Division can also be found on SIBUR’s official website (www.sibur.ru) in the “For our Clients” section. Compare the telephone numbers published on the official website with the ones you were given. Beware of phishing websites, they are also created by fraudsters for their criminal purposes.
2. Make sure that correspondence originates from an email address registered in the corporate email email@example.com and not from any other address. If something seems suspicious, or if any differences in the domain name are revealed in correspondence (e.g., PJSC SUBUR <firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com), a verification message/request/communication should be sent to the known email address of the SIBUR manager working with you, or to the email address specified on the official website.
3. In verifying the sender, do not use the email addresses and telephone numbers specified in the received message/communication/proposal, as these might well be the email addresses and telephone numbers of fraudsters who will continue “playing” with you and try to convince you that they belong to SIBUR’s Sales Division.
4. Do not use any electronic links contained in the received communications showing signs of fraud. The links may take you to fake electronic media located on the web.
5. If necessary, you should request an in-person meeting and negotiations with the manager in SIBUR’s office.
Please note that SIBUR do not sell products under agent-based arrangements through third-parties, neither do they disseminate emails listing manufactured products or prices. Should you have any suspicion about the contact with potential deceivers (in telephone negotiations, email correspondence), send a message to the hotline email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vigilance and due diligence are crucial when choosing the supplier! Do not become a victim of fraud!