'CHEC' FIRST! China Harbour warns against scams using the company's name

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) is warning that scammers are using its name in an effort to dupe people out of their goods and money and is urging the public to contact the company's office for confirmation if they are suspicious of any request being made to them in the firm's name, particularly when it includes requests for money, goods or services.

The company made the disclosure in a news release yesterday, pointing out that one of the scams involves the use of a fake purchase order for building materials from several hardware companies across the island.

“Our office has received several calls over the past week from hardware companies asking us to confirm orders that we didn't make, using the same purchase order. We have not yet received any information that this con has been successful, but we felt it prudent to warn as many people as possible as we do not wish for anyone to fall victim,” said CHEC's newly appointed Country Manager Dangran Bi

“This is not how CHEC procurement works, and we would never authorise any individual to just approach a hardware company to order or collect goods without going through several channels,” he added.

Yesterday, in a phone interview with the Jamaica Observer, a company representative said that they received approximately 10 calls last week reporting the attempted scam.

The company provided a scanned copy of the fake document, dated January 10, 2019, and bearing the CHEC logo. The company said the name of a former CHEC executive at the end of the document is misspelt and signature forged.

Among the items the scammers tried to procure from Hardware & Lumber on Spanish Town Road are 190 sheets of 5/8 red edge form ply, 180 bags of cement, one ton 1/2-inch steel, 24 metal doors, 100 sheets of zinc, and one 1,000 gallon water tank.

The company said a second scam involves people soliciting as much as $250,000 from residents of communities for work purportedly being undertaken by CHEC.

The Observer learnt that at least two schools — one in St Thomas and another in Spanish Town — have been approached by the scammers for money to pave the grounds.

“Again, CHEC would never solicit money from residents or individuals to complete projects,” the country manager explained.

The 30-year-old company yesterday reiterated that its core business is the construction of physical infrastructure such as roads and bridges, ports, airports, railways and production plants as well as the provision of expertise in areas of marine engineering, dredging and land reclamation.


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