Dealers need to be aware say BAGMA

We have heard that tool sharpening scammers, who were targeting dealers last year, are doing the rounds again.

BAGMA have warned that 'a particularly nasty' scam centering around a tool sharpening service that comes with threats of violence if the fee charged is not paid, even when it has not been agreed, is active once again.

Director of BAGMA, Keith Christian, has provided the below account, from a dealer who fell victim to the scheme recently. The dealer in question has reported the incident to the police. Some details have been left out due to the serious nature of the threats made to this dealer.

"Same old story by all accounts, Eastern European person walks into the workshop, young man seemed really genuine, offering a cheap sharpening service with some additional special unique hardening process that I would be absolutely amazed by.

"I explained that we don’t get tools sharpened, mostly we use and dispose as the new tools are really competitively priced these days, I apologised and said I really do not have anything for him, we have hundreds of tools / drills around the workshop. He saw these, he grabs a few and offered to sharpen them and return the following day. He did return with another man, and I’ve got to admit the tools he returned looked really good

"He asked if we had any more tools he could sharpen as a service, I explained that we have tools all over the place, but they don’t really need doing we just do them by hand as and when. He grabbed a box of them and put them in the car and offered to sharpen them for a good price, mentioned £3.25 /mm, when I questioned him about this cost he was pretty vague and said they would be very reasonable and don’t worry you will be happy with the price and that we will agreed etc.

"Long and short of it, they came back several days later, all tools appear to be ground really well although I have not tried them. He asked if we could go into the office to do the paperwork etc. tapped out a load of figures relating to the lengths of the drills he had sharpened, offered a big discount on the figure we had apparently agreed on and then presented me with a bill for more than £2500. I told him forget it, you can keep the drills etc, there is no way I am going to pay this extortionate cost.

"It was then that the mood changed, my insistence that I was not going to pay and that he can keep the tools were met with continued mention of the supposed deal we had agreed on, and the fact that the workers who had put in so many hours over the weekend to grind the tools not being happy about this. Finally, I was reminded that they have my full contact details including email and the fact that they would come looking for the money and he didn’t want to find out that I had got hurt by them.

"Anyway, I could not get rid of them, felt really threatened by them as I was on my own, and offered them a lesser amount to get rid of them, paid them by bank transfer. I feel really bad about the whole experience now.”

BAGMA are advising dealers to make all staff aware that this situation is still very much ongoing. They say businesses who may be visited by unknown persons offering such services are not to sign any paperwork, definitely not to hand over any tools and to call police on 101 straight away.

Keith Christian has asked any dealers who know anything more about the situation to email him at  so they can keep updated on the matter. Also please feel free to post any advice or experiances below this article.

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