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Trade Alert – Suspicious trading activity observed

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Information assessed by Blue Book Services supports serving notice of observed suspicious trading activity occurrences.

Reported seller victims allege buyer perpetrators inquire to purchase product the following way:

  • Is a new or newer Blue Book listing
  • Requests product without a price
  • Places a number of large orders over a short period of time
  • Communicates via email, text or WhatsApp messenger – limited voice communications reflect some market acumen
  • Offers or insists to pick up the product

Seller reports experiences to be first time dealings with no prior connection or business relationship and indicates the inability to reach buyer shortly after purchases.

From Blue Book’s perspective, one, or a combination of any of the following list of characteristics have been present in situations where a company buys product and shortly becomes unresponsive to payment requests: 

  • New or newer listing
  • Ownership and staffing reflect no industry experience
  • Has a virtual or UPS mailbox address
  • Generally obtains PACA license after company establishes Blue Book listing
  • A rating line concern exists, such as a rating numeral has been assigned
  • Email signatures may show “Doing business since…”, suggestive of greater tenure than actuality
  • Generic or limited effort website
  • Social Media icons link to unrelated company or person
  • References offered not found in the Blue Book
  • Email address domains –,,, etc.

Produce businesses, and those that serve the produce industry, should adhere to their credit policies, thoroughly vet prospective new business relationships, as well as carefully monitor new relationships sold. 

If you believe you are a victim of fraud, share your experiences with the Blue Book, other industry personnel and legal authorities such as your company attorney, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice.

Fraud constantly evolves and is in every industry, including produce – assess risk and know who you may be selling… failing to do so may result in losses.

To become a Blue Book Member, contact us at 630.668.3500 or email and request Membership information.


Bill Zentner is Vice President, Ratings Service for Blue Book