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Posted October 9, 2019

Distributor Scam Goes Digital: an Update

by Frank Hurtte, River Heights Consulting

Frank HurtteOver the past several years, River Heights Consulting has tracked and shed light on internet-based scams targeting our friends out in distributor land. Read examples here and here. We even joked, “We should be both honored and terrified. Finally, after all these years, the scammers have managed to discover the distribution industry, too.”

Virtually 100 percent of the scams reported fell under the heading of email directed scams. But distributors are digitalizing their businesses. Apparently, our customers aren't the only ones to notice our efforts. The latest scam came by way of our efforts to provide 24x7 communications with our customers and on a digital platform.

Recently, this one came by way of an inquiry form built into a distributor website. Below is the message forwarded to our wholesaler friends:

Hello, I would like to check product availability and price quotation for the items below: ENERPAC TORQUE WRENCH RSQ11000ST, Square Drive Hydraulic Torque Wrench Set, 11154 ft. lbs Torque, 1 1/2 in. Square Drive QTY: 5 Units. Let me have the cost per item numbers if in stock. Do advise the pricing and availability of the item including your Net30 Term account form to set up a net30 term account with your company. We can forward our references data sheet and any other document you may need for the net30 order. Awaiting your earliest response. Regards, Dan Karpinski Sales Engineer ValueTronicss International Inc. 1675 Cambridge Drive, Elgin, IL. 60123.

Contact: Dan Karpinski
Email: dan.k@valuetronicss.com
Company: Valuetronicss

There is a company called "Valuetronics" without the extra "s" at the end of the company name. Research indicates they would be very unlikely to need an Enerpac torque wrench. The web address provided was created on GoDaddy.com in August and further updated last month. It shows up as “parked”. Using whois.net, we discovered the following information:

Domain Name: VALUETRONICSS.COM
Registry Domain ID: 2425753385_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.godaddy.com
Registrar URL: http://www.godaddy.com
Updated Date: 2019-09-10T19:01:19Z
Creation Date: 2019-08-22T11:42:20Z
Registry Expiry Date: 2020-08-22T11:42:20Z
Registrar: GoDaddy.com, LLC
Registrar IANA ID: 146
Registrar Abuse Contact Email: abuse@godaddy.com
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: 480-624-2505
Domain Status: clientDeleteProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientDeleteProhibited
Domain Status: clientRenewProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientRenewProhibited
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited
Domain Status: clientUpdateProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientUpdateProhibited
Name Server: NS09.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
Name Server: NS10.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
DNSSEC: unsigned
URL of the ICANN Whois Inaccuracy Complaint Form: https://www.icann.org/wicf/
>>> Last update of whois database: 2019-10-06T23:49:33Z <<

This has been reported to GoDaddy.com as a courtesy.

This once more demonstrates the need for vigilance in all aspects of our business.

If you see a scam targeting distributors, we would love to get the word out.

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