Financial Investigators are warning businesses to be vigilant after two companies in North Yorkshire were targeted by fraudsters.
The same scam was used to defraud the businesses out of thousands of pounds.
A building supplies company in Pickering lost £1245 when it dispatched an order of boxwood panels to Birmingham and a Butcher’s in Scarborough lost £2257 when it sent two meat orders to Windsor.
The people behind the scams, contact legitimate businesses and place substantial orders using cloned or stolen debit cards. They then contact a local taxi firm asking them to collect the order and deliver it to a notified address. A further call is then made to the taxi company changing the delivery address which is usually a pub car park or a motorway service station.
When it transpires that a fraudulent transaction has been made, the trader must stand the loss as the order has not been delivered to the correct address.
Officers investigating the incidents are warning local businesses to be aware that this scam is in operation and take steps to protect themselves.
Detective Constable Neil Jefferson, of North Yorkshire Police’s Financial Investigation Unit, said:
It is important that business owners are aware of this type of scam and ensure that precautions are taken when dealing with online or phone transactions when the cardholder is not present.
Most cardholder-not-present transactions are genuine, however fraudsters like this type of transaction as they don’t have to use chip and pin and there is no way of the vendor checking the card visually.
I would advise all local businesses to make their staff aware of this scam and tell them not to proceed with any transaction if they become suspicious.
If you think you have been a target of a fraudulent transaction, please contact the police or Crimestoppers immediately.
North Yorkshire Police are offering the following advice to businesses to help protect them from fraud.
- Get the right information when dealing with a cardholder-not-present transaction, including the delivery address, billing address and a contact phone number, preferably a landline.
- Be clear about the delivery address – only deliver to the cardholder’s verified and registered address. Never deliver to third parties and don’t use taxis to dispatch your goods.
- Be wary of customers who are unconcerned by price, are being prompted, use more than one card to make a payment, try lots of different cards, demand next day delivery and will only provide a mobile contact number.
If you would like to report a fraud, contact North Yorkshire Police on 0845 60 60 24 7.
Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.