Desperate Buyers Targeted by Scammers During Chip Shortage

Kristal Snider
ERAI Inc.

This message is a warning to any organization involved in the purchase of electronic components. An individual by the name of Nick Martin, using multiple aliases, has created and/or is affiliated with numerous companies and websites that fraudulently advertise having electronic components in stock. Martin requires payment in advance, often promising the parts are “in stock” or “ready to ship”. Payment is wired but the parts are never delivered. When the victims chase a refund or delivery of the parts, their communication attempts are dodged or are completely ignored. Monies wired to Martin are never recovered.

Websites belonging to or affiliated with Nick Martin include but are not limited to:

A-One Parts - www.aoneparts.com
AW Components – www.awcomponents.com
Allen Components – www.allencomponents.com
Bennet Electronics – www.bennetelectronics.com
CDM Distributors - www.cdmdistributors.com
Comstock Components – www.comstockcomponents.com
Crower Parts - www.crowerparts.com
DC Stock – www.dc-stock.com
Hooper Electronics – www.hooperelectronics.com
Keen Distributors – www.keendistributors.com
Metrix Manager - www.metrixmanager.com
Micro Electronics Tech LLC aka MET Manager LLC - www.microelectronicstech.com
Modo Electronics - www.modoelectronics.com
Neolite Electronics – www.neoliteelectronics.com
Newland Electronic – www.newlandelectronic.com
Pulp Electronics – www.pulpelectronics.com
Redhill Electronics - www.redhillelectronics.com
Senpro Electronics - www.senproelectronics.com
Sere Components – www.serecomponents.com
Silva Technology aka ST LLC - www.stllc.tech
TTM Components - www.ttmcomponents.com
Watercrest PCB - www.watercrestpcb.com
WCA Electronics – www.wcaelectronics.com

Victims described searching for parts using Google or the Internet trading portals OEMs Trade (www.oemstrade.com), Hong Kong Inventory (www.hkinventory.com), DigiPart (www.digipart.com), and FindChips (www.findchips.com)

Aliases being used by Nick Martin and/or associates:

Brad Riley
Brian Davies
Cody Liam
Drew Johnson
Ed Kane
Glen Anderson
Joe Hass
John Wolf
Josh Cooper
Julie Hanks
Leo Becker
Max Haber
Mike Nicholson
Nick Wetherill
Nick Willen
Peter Hamill
Rob Kingham
Ryan Feldman
Ryan Taylor
Scott Spencer
Sean Taylor
Sean Wilson
Tim Fisher
Timothy Fischer

All victims wired payment in advance to one of the following bank accounts:

Bank Name: Chase Bank
Account Number: 230681063
Beneficiary: Hooper Electronics

Bank Name: US Bank
Account Number: 157519019754
Beneficiary: Sere Components

Bank Name: First Bank
Account Number: 1408174894
Beneficiary: TTM Components

Bank Name: BBVA Bank
Account Number: 6783269382
Beneficiary: Neolite Electronics LLC

Bank Name: Seacoast Commerce Bank
Account Number: 1625299
Beneficiary Name: Micro Electronics Tech LLC

Bank Name: Western Alliance Bank
Account Number: 8484246994
Beneficiary Name: Micro Electronics Tech LLC

Bank Name: Nuvision Federal Credit Union
Account Number: 641487534546
Beneficiary Name: MET Manager LLC

Bank Name: Sunwest Bank
Account Number: 0101284034
Beneficiary Name: Silva Technology LLC

Victims Continue to Come Forward

ERAI first alerted its members to the crimes being committed by Nick Martin in 2018. Since that time, Martin has stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from his victims. Complaints filed with ERAI totaling $401,453.30 remain unresolved:

While doing business as Allen Components / Hooper Electronics
Date of Incident: May 9, 2018
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $15,552.00

While doing business as Hooper Electronics
Date of Incident: September 14, 2018
Type of Incident: Suspect Counterfeit Parts
Reported Loss: $12,600.00

While doing business as Allen Components / Hooper Electronics
Date of Incident: October 17, 2018
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $6,160.00

While doing business as Allen Components / Hooper Electronics
Date of Incident: December 14, 2018
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $10,987.50

While doing business as Allen Components / Sere Components
Date of Incident: January 24, 2019
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $47,530.00

While doing business as Sere Components
Date of Incident: April 1, 2019
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $8,055.00

While doing business as Sere Components / TTM Components
Date of Incident: May 24, 2019
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $1,950.00

While doing business as TTM Components
Date of Incident: June 25, 2019
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $13,750.00

While doing business as Pulp Electronics / Neolite Electronics
Date of Incident: June 10, 2020
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $2,336.00

While doing business as Neolite Electronics
Date of Incident: July 9, 2020
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $52,000.00

While doing business as Neolite Electronics
Date of Second Incident: July 22, 2020
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Second Reported Loss: $1,488.00

While doing business as Neolite Electronics
Date of Incident: July 20, 2020
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $5,550.00

While doing business as Pulp Electronics
Date of Incident: August 27, 2020
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $2,575.80

While doing business as Micro Electronics Tech LLC
Date of Incident: November 16, 2020
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $24,720.00

While doing business as Micro Electronics Tech LLC
Date of Incident: February 2, 2021
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $26,500.00

While doing business as Micro Electronics Tech LLC
Date of Incident: February 3, 2021
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $4,725.00

While doing business as Micro Electronics Tech LLC
Date of Incident: February 4, 2021
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $27,000.00

While doing business as Micro Electronics Tech LLC
Date of Incident: February 9, 2021
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $3,000.00

While doing business as Micro Electronics Tech LLC
Date of Incident: March 5, 2021
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $3,150.00

While doing business as Micro Electronics Tech LLC
Date of Incident: March 11, 2021
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $6,500.00

While doing business as Micro Electronics Tech LLC
Date of Incident: April 5, 2021
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $13,334.00

While doing business as Modo Electronics
Date of Incident: April 21, 2021
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $32,000.00

While doing business as Silva Technology
Date of Incident: June 29, 2021
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $11,700.00

While doing business as Silva Technology
Date of Incident: July 15, 2021
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $35,100.00

While doing business as Silva Technology
Date of Incident: June 28, 2021
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $19,750.00

While doing business as Silva Technology
Date of Incident: June 30, 2021
Type of Incident: Wire Fraud
Reported Loss: $13,440.00

In addition to complaints filed with ERAI, numerous victims have posted negative reviews using online reporting platforms such as the Better Business Bureau, ScamPulse.com, and Scamdoc.com.

Risk Indicators

The Target of the Scam

Martin is not targeting independent distributors. Martin is targeting Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Contract Manufacturers (CMs) and EMS providers. These types of organizations are less likely to file complaints with ERAI or other online reporting platforms and are more likely to wire payment in advance.

Trade References

Most of the victims reporting to ERAI failed to obtain verifiable trade references prior to placing orders.

One of the victims insisted on trade references and was provided with a fraudulent reference. Martin used another entity he was operating as the reference.

Request, obtain and confirm references from verifiable and reputable companies in the industry.

Fraudulent Addresses

The addresses appearing on the websites identified herein are fraudulent; meaning, Martin is not operating from that location.

For example, the Micro Electronics' website identifies the company’s address as:

2340 Alamo Ave SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

This address belongs to a three-story office building managed by Building Interests Inc. According to the property manager, Micro Electronics Tech LLC is not a tenant.

Always verify the address of your supplier. Perform an Internet search on the address to verify that the address exists and that the organization you are considering sourcing from is operating in that location.

Nick Martin and his co-conspirators do not use their real names; they use aliases to conceal their true identities.

Do not buy parts from unknown companies or people. There are many distributors who are established, reputable and transparent. Allow your trusted and verified distributor partners to source open market product on your behalf. They have great visibility into the global supply chain and can help you navigate risk. If your verified suppliers cannot locate the parts you need but some unknown third party found via Google, OEMS Trade or Find Chips can, you should consider that a significant risk indicator and not wire funds in advance.

Verify the supplier’s website

High risk suppliers may have a website that was newly registered or that is registered in such a way to conceal the identity of the site owner. Nick Martin is known to buy existing URLs in an effort to make it appear his company has been in existence longer than it actually has.

For example, on its website, “Pulp Electronics” states the company has been operating since 2013 as a “full service independent distributor”. However, Pulp Electronics is not registered with the Arizona Secretary of State.

At first glance, Pulp Electronics’ website appears to have been created on September 14, 2014; however, records for this domain expired. The domain was then purchased and reactivated in January 2020. A cursory review of the domain would lead you to believe this website has been active for seven years when, in fact, it has only been active for 6 months.

Verify the supplier is licensed and/or registered in the state they claim to be located

The companies operated by Nick Martin are not registered with the Secretary of State or are registered in states that allow the concealment of the corporate officers such as Nevada and New Mexico.

Unregistered businesses or businesses that take steps to hide the identity of the company owners or officers should be considered high risk. Request copies of business licenses, registrations and/or tax documents.

Verify the accuracy and validity of records

Nick Martin is known to have provided an OEMs with a falsified W-9. Obtain a photo ID of the individual identified on a W-9 or other tax documents.

Use a secured method of payment

Suppliers that refuse payment other than wire transfer in advance should be considered high risk. Select a form of payment that will protect both the buyer and seller. Organizations that only accept wire transfer in advance payment should be considered HIGH RISK.

If you have done business with or have information about any of the above-named entities, or if you have been the victim of wire fraud, please contact Kristal Snider at ksnider@erai.com.

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