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Businesses in Northern Ireland fall victim to 'sophisticated credit card scam'

Police said a number of business people have already been defrauded out of significant sums of money.

A NUMBER OF businessespeople across Northern Ireland have been defrauded out of “significant sums of money in a sophisticated credit card scam” police said today.

The scam is believed to have originated in the Greater Manchester area, according to Chief Inspector Tony Callaghan of the Limavady and Magherafalet areas of Derry.

“We are urging traders throughout Northern Ireland to be aware of the scam, which has cost some of their counterparts significant sums of money,” he said.

“It has involved ‘customers’ phoning businesses and ordering goods and paying by one or more credit card,” he explained. “The purchaser then arranges for local courier companies to pick up the goods quickly, before fraudulent activity on the card is noticed. We know that traders across a broad area of mid-Ulster and the North West and other parts of Northern Ireland have been targeted.”

In many cases, the scam originates in the north of England and goods are sent there. The inspector said there is no suggestion that the courier companies involved are aware of the scam.

The PSNI has given the following advice to traders who receive calls to supply goods:

  • Always insist on the card’s three digit security code;
  • Request the name of the cardholder’s bank;
  • Ensure the purchaser’s billing address and delivery address are consistent;
  • Never forward goods to a post office box;
  • Be suspicious where multiple cards are being used for a single purchase;
  • Exercise particular caution about overseas orders;
  • Large orders can be held until payment has been authorised by the credit card company;
  • As an alternative to the credit card, ask the purchaser to pay by direct bank transfer.

Any businesses who believe they have been victims of fraudulent transactions should contact their nearest CID office.

Read: How many small businesses have been victims of crime?>

Read: Fraudsters ‘grooming’ bank customers before phishing attacks>

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