Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Spring is finally here – so too are scams targeting French producers

 Champagne vineyards near Epernay

Last Thursday (11th April) when I gave my talk on the UK market at Les Rencontres Nationales des Vignerons Indépendants in Epernay I warned of the French producer scam. In this long-running scam, fraudsters contact French producers stealing the identity of legitimate companies and their employees.   

The warning was well-timed as within a week (17th April) of my talk a Champagne producer received two emails (see below) sent by a fraudster pretending to be the manager (a Steven Person) of the Anchor Inn at Lower Froyle in Hampshire.  

However a quick check shows that the two phone numbers and the fax given by the fraudster are all for mobiles – no landline given, which naturally the real Anchor Inn has. Also there is one crucial difference between the true email address of the Anchor Inn – the false address includes a hypen, which the real address does not have.

When I contacted the Anchor Inn they confirmed that the emails were false and nothing to do with them: 'I can confirm with you this is nothing to do with us and no one by that name works here.' The so called Manager – Steven Person – is the fraudster's invention. 

-----Message d'origine-----
Envoyé : mercredi 17 avril 2013 16:30

Dear sir,

Having had the opportunity to acquaint with your activities, we would like to mean you that we are interested in a partnership with you as distributor of your products on England.

Being situated in United Kingdom, we wanted to know if you make of the sale for the export.

We are thus looking forward to your reply so as to place at you possible orders that we shall deliver in hotel complexes, restaurants.

Thank you for indicating us your method of payment including seen transport makes him whom we wish that our payments are in 30 days the end of the month by bank transfer.

We are in the wait consequently your various price lists as well as your respective available quantities as so as to the fact that we can send you our order form.

We ask you to contact us on our limps personal electronics which is

Best regards,

Steven Person

The Anchor Inn
Lower Froyle, Hampshire GU34 4NA
United Kingdom
VAT Number : 866811494
Registered in England, Number : 5461379
Tel : +44 (0) 701 296 3947 / +44 (0) 703 598 2115
Fax : + 44 (0) 709 285 8102 [6]

Cher monsieur,

Ayant eu loccasion de prendre connaissance de vos activités, nous aimerions vous signifier que nous sommes intéressé par un partenariat avec vous en tant que distributeur de vos produits  sur lAngleterre.

Étant situé au Royaume Uni, nous voulions savoir si vous faites de la vente à lexport.

Nous sommes donc dans lattente de votre réponse de sorte à vous passer déventuelles commandes que nous livrerons dans des
complexes hôteliers et restaurants.Merci de nous indiquer votre mode de règlement y compris transport vu le fait que nous désirons que nos règlements sont à 30 jours fin du mois par virement bancaire.

Nous sommes dans lattente par conséquent de vos différents tariffs ainsi que de vos quantités disponibles respectives de sorte à ce que nous puissions vous faire parvenir notre bon de commande.

Nous vous demandons de nous contacter sur notre boite électronique personnelle qui est

Merci et bonne réception

Steven Person

The Anchor Inn
Lower Froyle, Hampshire
GU34 4NA
United Kingdom
VAT Number : GB866811494

 Registered in England, Number : 5461379
Tel : +44 (0) 701 296 3947 / +44 (0) 703 598 2115
Fax : + 44 (0) 709 285 8102

Trash is best place for emails like this. Legitimate UK companies would never contact French producers in this manner.   


Wink Lorch said...

It is horrible that some wine producers may be taken in by these emails. What I find odd with the two you've posted is that the French, to my admittedly not-100%-fluent ey, looks fine, but the English is a bad translation of the French. Does this indicate the scammers are French or Francophones? I find that even more worrying.

Jim Budd said...

Wink. Thanks. That was my thought too as the French is much better tahn the stilted English.