Craig Stockdale, managing director of monitor manufacturer MicroTouch Asia Pacific, flew into damage control over the weekend upon the discovery of a devious plot to use the MicroTouch name to fraudulently acquire IT equipment.
The fraud, which did not involve or implicate the genuine local MicroTouch operation, received wide publicity when the NSW Police Fraud Squad issued a press statement warning people of dealing with a company called MicroTouch.
The fraudster(s) established a virtual office through an Internet site, and proceeded to place orders with local distributors using falsified credit card details.
"By the time I became aware of the situation it was already all over the news and the police were warning people not to deal with MicroTouch," Stockdale said.
Stockdale is convinced that the MicroTouch name was selected because of the company's international presence.
"They [the fraudsters]seemed to be running it all out of the UK. MicroTouch is well known throughout the world, so all they had to do was check that we had offices here in Australia, and use our name," Stockdale said.
Unconfirmed reports reveal the scam was discovered by a distributor who had had previous dealings with MicroTouch. The distributor became suspicious when multiple credit cards were offered to pay for one product. When they rang to validate the order the quality of the phone connection fuelled their suspicions further and they contacted police.
While Stockdale's primary concern is clearing the company's name, he is also alarmed about the potential damage an incident such as this could cause to a legitimate company's reputation.
Following the earlier damaging statement, the NSW Police Fraud Squad yesterday released a statement clarifying the situation.