Scams and Fraud
As an emerging globally recognised company dealing in gold bullion and precious metals and liquid energy commodities, enhanced and very visible due to our quality established global key stakeholders Merkin Advisory Pty Ltd has found that we can be the target of unscrupulous individuals and or groups.
This typically takes the form of online fraud where organisations or individuals falsely claim to be representing Merkin Advisory, our key stakeholders and/or our counterparties in relation to fraudulent soft corporate offers, irrevocable corporate purchase orders, sales and purchase agreements, and /or Buyer or Seller mandates, or intermediaries to those.
This type of fraud may include false identities, fraudulent domains, posing as Merkin Advisory team members, emails, text messages, social media posts, facsimile transmissions or letters that seek to result in identity theft, hacking, phishing or even financial extortion and theft.
We encourage all individuals interested in doing business in the dealing of gold bullion and precious metals and liquid energy commodities, either generally, or specifically with Merkin Advisory Pty Ltd to follow strong due diligence and good online and business practices to avoid fraudulent activity. This includes parties that have been dealing with us for a long time regularly checking that communications with us – are actually with us.
Merkin Advisory strongly urges all of those interested in prospective transactions, or anyone already engaged in communication or business with us , to check carefully on every message before clicking on or replying to any communications that may look suspicious.
Appropriate due diligence should be (and is always undertaken by us) before any third parties are engaged.
The appropriate level of due diligence will vary depending on the circumstances and we suggest that you should use your judgement on a case by case basis. Questions you should be asking yourself about us, (and you can be assured that we will be asking ourselves about you) include:
- who are they/we – have I seen documents evidencing that they are who they say they are (KYC, Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Funding related protocols)?
- who else have they worked with – do they have references?
- who do we know well and trust that knows them – preferably you are introduced to us, and not a direct solicitation (certainly we will do these checks with third parties, and more, before any transaction or communication is proceeded with) ? We will need proof that you are who you say you are, that you are well established with a good reputation, and this goes beyond KYC, transaction chain of title KYC and basic searches such a google searches, social media searches, linkedin searches, business directory searches (we certainly will in reverse).
- are there inconsistencies between the provider of the services and the party that I am paying/ asking to be paid?
- are commissions/payments in line with generally accepted market practice?
- are they communicating from an established domain, is it the correct domain ( a transposing of two letters or an underscore or not a jurisdictional domain is very common.
- have you regularly checked that all emails still are from the correct domain.
- do you regularly check the owner, administrator, date of registration and duration of the currency of the domain (using whois look up or similar) ?
In particular, when making any payments to third parties Merkin Advisory Pty Ltd, or our associates, will telephone you every time to verbally confirm both the payment request, and for you to independently verbalise the bank account details provided to us in writing. We certainly will do the same before making a payment to you, or any party (eg where we may be acting as a paymaster).
Merkin Advisory is also committed to ensuring that both employees and external stakeholders and counterparties can speak up with confidence if they have any concerns or need to ask for help. If you suspect or observe anything that you think might be criminal or fraudulent in nature, or that may contravene the principles of anti bribery or corruption, we have a whistle blower policy where any person may raise concerns in complete confidence.
To learn more about personal online security, you could also refer to your relevant Cybersecurity Authority in your country.