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Northeast Florida & The Southeast Atlantic
BBB Issues Warning For Local Businesses
BBB Serving Northeast Florida & the Southeast Atlantic is warning local metal recycling companies to be on the lookout for a scam that uses the Jacksonville BBB address.
July 14, 2014

Scrap Aluminum Processors Two, Inc., a Jacksonville metal recycling agency, was contacted by a collection agent located in New York stating they had been contracted via email to collect a debt for an individual. However, there was a twist, Scrap Aluminum Processors was owed money as well. It didn’t make sense to the debt collection company so they contacted the supposed debtor to give them a heads up. The debt collector sent the business all of the information they had received about the supposed debt . President of Scrap Aluminum Processors Arlen Vernimo decided to see what business was located at the address on the invoice and ended up at his local BBB office.  When Vernimo explained what was going on BBB decided to investigate.

Here is what we know:

  • An individual who names himself as an exporter out of Hong Kong is contacting debt collectors trying to collect a balance of over $200,000 for copper scrap that was allegedly shipped on July 7th, 2014 but has yet to be delivered.
  • The individual also alleges he owes these businesses the same amount that he is seeking.
  • To substantiate his claims this individual has produced an invoice that shows the name of a business located in south Florida, the address for the BBB in Jacksonville, the phone number is a cell phone with a Maryland area code, and the email address belongs to another metal recycling company in New York.
  • This invoice also names another local scrap metal recycler as the buyer for the copper. BBB contacted this company, they had no record of purchasing anything from Hong Kong and had never heard of the individual.

After speaking with both local aluminum recyclers and the collection agent who was contracted by the individual the BBB believes that this is a scam. The debt collector would have been used to make the claim seem legitimate and the companies in question could have potentially provided their banking information to an individual to be used for nefarious purposes.  

BBB is warning all local metal recycling companies to be on the lookout for this scam. Fortunately, the collection agent recognized that something wasn’t right. The con man may find another debt collector who will not question his motives. BBB recommends that you always verify a debt before providing any financial information.

For more information you can trust, visit us at bbb.org/north-east-florida or follow us on twitter @BBBJacksonville.

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2013, consumers turned to BBB 131 million times for Business Reviews on more than 6.5 million businesses, all available for free at bbb.org.  The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 112 local, independent BBBs across the United States, Mexico and Canada, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution and industry self-regulation.