The following information has been developed and distributed by the UK Pellet Council.
Please be aware that there are currently numerous fraudulent certificates in circulation across Europe that are being presented to potential customers, including certified Traders, as evidence that the product they are purporting to sell is ENplus® certified. The certificates look authentic and appear to be issued by approved certification bodies but usually contain an ENplus® ID that belongs to an entirely different company.
It is recommend that you check the validity of any company that presents themselves as certified on the ENplus® website (click here for Producers and here for Traders) or forward a copy of the certificate and other supporting evidence to email@example.com for verification. In particular over recent weeks there has been a high number of companies offering pellets apparently produced in Turkey. There is only one active ENplus certified company in Turkey. The high tonnages of pellets being offered strongly suggests that much of the supply is in fact sanctioned Russian product and should be avoided.
The UKPC and wider ENplus®Management has also been inundated with reports of fake websites offering ENplus® wood pellets for sale, often at substantially discounted prices using well-known brand names. These websites are sometimes cloned from an existing website –not necessarily that of a wood pellet supplier –but crucially use the correct company name, address andENplus® Quality Seal of a certified Producer or Trader. We are currently aware of four such sites that have ‘offered’ UK-manufactured product for sale, two of which have impersonated the domain names of certified UK Producers by altering a couple of letters. To all intents and purposes these sites appear to be those of ENplus® certified companies selling ENplus® certified product.We would like to offer the following advice to our member companies:
- If you have an official website please provide us with the details, if you haven’t already done so, in order that we can add the details on the ENplus® and UKPC websites
- If you don’t have an official website please provide us with your permission to add your preferred email for sales. This will help customers get in touch with you directly and avoid scammers
- Publish information on your own website describing the dangers and encouraging vigilance and, if you have a database of customers, please warn them via email about potential scam practices
- If you have spotted a fake website that is either imitating your company or offering products for sale without your permission then there are a number of steps that you can take, including the following:
- Emailing the site’s administrators, report the site to ICANN, contacting Google to de-index the site from search engines and contacting the service provider (the host or the CMS platform) who may be able to simply take the site down. A number of these points are addressed in a (sponsored) article at https://www.redpoints.com/blog/how-to-take-down-a-fake-website
- If the website is fraudulently acting as another business andtaking payments then report it to the police online athttps://www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to provide you with the information that has been shared with me by our member companies who have been involved in combatting these scams
The UKPC would like to offer the following advice to customers(see 3 above)
- Always check your supplier contact details (website/email) against the list of certified companies on the UKPC website at http://www.pelletcouncil.org.uk/enplus-traders/or http://www.pelletcouncil.org.uk/consumer-information/enplus-producers/and/or on theENplus® website at https://enplus-pellets.eu/en-in/certifications-en-in/trader-en-in.htmlorhttps://enplus-pellets.eu/en-in/certifications-en-in/producer-en-in.html
- Don’t pay upfront to unknown suppliers
- If the price of the pellets seems too good to be true it almost certainly is!
- Be aware of falsified invoices with a replaced bank account as, sometimes, fraudsters use old invoices of the real supplier by simply replacing the bank account details
- Check the approved bag designs of the certified company on either the UKPC website and/or the ENplus® website down to the very last detail to be sure you are buying certified pellets. Some fraudsters will try to confuse you by replicating almost entirely the bag design of a certified producer or trader
- In case of doubt that you are not communicating with a real certified company, please forward your correspondenceto email@example.com that the UKPCcan check and verify the identity of the company
In summary, please act with caution if you are considering buying wood pellets from a company you have not previously dealt with, and please communicate to your customersthat they should exercise caution too.