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Printers slam scammers on website

Monday, 21 April 2008
By Print 21 Online Article

The launch of website ScamWatch, has seen Printing Industries inundated with reports of companies around the world being targeted by scammers.

Printing Industries national communications and technical services manager, Joe Kowalewski, said the extent of the problem was "staggering" and "alarmingly sophisticated".

"We have been contacted by printing companies from around Australia and even the USA providing us with examples of the scams they have been targeted by," he said.

"We have also been contacted by London’s Metropolitan police who are receiving similar complaints from British printing companies. They have also provided identical examples of the print quotation requests they are receiving.

"Many include very unprofessional and basic artwork sent to them as part of the scam process to try to make the requests look legitimate."

Kowalewski said no reports had yet been received from printing companies who had paid in advance the requested freight charges in the belief that they would be reimbursed in their print account.

"The requested advance of up to $10,000 for freight payments seems to have rung alarm bells with most companies who progressed the quotation process with these so called ‘clients’. However since the scammers willingly provide credit card details and local contact addresses and have followed up by phoning their targeted companies, the level of sophistication now being used could easily trap the unwary," he said.

"It is very likely some companies may have been caught out by either printing the flyers or advancing freight fees. If this has happened, we need the details, which will be treated confidentially and only provided to the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) to assist with their investigations."

Kowalewski encouraged printing companies to visit the ScamWatch pages on to see examples of the scam letters, client names being used and artwork provided.

"Companies need to ensure their sales staff don’t waste their time on these requests and don’t get trapped into communicating with these people.

"The free public e-mail addresses such as yahoo, which has been used extensively by this round of scammers, poor written literacy, novelty e-mail fonts and basic artwork – sometimes only two or three words on an A4 sheet – are good indicators that the requests are bogus," he said.

You can submit your scam information to Printing Industries via or from

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