During this period of the year, many pellet consumers make their last orders and often look for promotions and better offers. Our Fraud Assistant Isis Taipe Maldonado gives some important advice on what to be careful with when purchasing pellets and tells us all about ENplus® fraud management.
Hi Isis, tell us what are your responsibilities and tasks.
I am the contact person for fraud management within the ENplus® certification scheme.
My main responsibility is to apply our fraud procedure (ENplus® PD 2007) against companies who are misusing the ENplus® trademark.
My daily tasks include analysing the information sent to us by our reporters, determining the existence of fraud or license infringement, initiating contact with the company to explain the misuse, monitoring that companies implement the requested measures before closing a case, following up on already opened cases, assisting with questions related to fraud and/or suspicious activities, etc.
How many types of fraud are there under the ENplus fraud management framework? What is the most popular one?
There are three main types of fraud. First, the falsification of ENplus® certificates, less common lately, but quite serious as it involves document forgery; second, product misuse, e.g. displaying the (modified) ENplus® logo on non-certified pellet bags; and third, marketing fraud. The latter can include a variety of actions by non-certified companies, such as advertising or offering non-certified pellets as ENplus® certified on websites, social media, marketing material, invoices, etc.
In recent months we have noticed a growing fraudulent practice of impersonating companies, especially of ENplus® certified companies, often by using falsified certificates and/or fake websites that are pretending to be the official websites of "real" certified companies. This problem is bringing instances where scammers use such fake websites to cheat potential buyers by requesting a partial payment and never delivering the ordered goods.
Should people be vigilant for fraud? What should they be careful with and how to report a case?
Yes, I really think it is important to remain vigilant. Scammers target everyone, especially those who are uninformed.
Therefore, when you are faced with an offer of ENplus® certified pellets, my first tip is to make sure that the company is ENplus® certified by looking it up directly on our website, where you will also find the official contact details of the ENplus® certified company in question, so, make sure that the contact details that appear on the offer you receive are the same as those that appear on the company's profile on our website. If you still have any doubts, or you are aware of any suspicious fraudulent actions against the ENplus® trademark, do not hesitate to contact us directly through our dedicated fraud form.
How can consumers protect themselves and make sure they don’t buy a fraudulent product?
As a consumer, the first way to protect yourself is not to accept an offer of ENplus® certified pellets until you are completely sure that the supplier is reliable. In the event you have not found the offering company on our website, I would advise you to take a look at another great tool for consumers: the ENplus® Blacklist, a public registry of companies that infringed on the ENplus® trademark and refused to resolve this issue amicably. This way, you will be able to verify whether a company you are in contact with is a trusted supplier of ENplus® pellets.