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Business warned about suspicious calls from overseas con artists

Foreign con artists are using stolen credit card information to try to get money by ordering expensive champagne, china and crystal from stores in Bermuda.

Police yesterday warned local businesses and members of the public to be vigilant for the scam, which involves the culprits contacting retailers on the Island and trying to place orders using details from recently stolen cards.

It is understood no local retailers have fallen victim to the scam but several have contacted police after receiving suspicious calls and e-mails.

A Bermuda Police Service spokesman said: “In a typical scenario, the scammer e-mails or calls a retail business asking for a quote on a quantity of high-end goods.

“The business confirms it can supply the goods and the scammer then provides the business with credit card details which are to be used to process payment for the goods.

“The retailer never has the card in their possession and the card details have to be entered manually into the credit card machine at the point of sale. The scammer always asks to be informed when the payment has been processed.”

The spokesman said payments were often processed before the card issuer was aware the card or bank account had been compromised.

“Once the scammer receives confirmation that the payment has been processed successfully, they will typically explain that the order was incorrect and that a proportion of the funds need to be refunded immediately.

“The scammer typically does not ask for all of the funds to be refunded and will often telephone the business during the latter stages of the scam, providing convincing explanations when asked for further information.

“The refund will usually be asked for in the form of a wire transfer to a foreign bank or via a money transfer through generic money transfer services. “If the refund is sent, the scam is complete, potentially leaving the retailer, as well as the card holder, with a large financial loss.”

Officers in the Financial Crime Unit are investigating the scam and want anyone affected to call them on 295-0011.

Useful website: www.bps.bm.

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Published August 20, 2011 at 9:00 am (Updated August 20, 2011 at 8:50 am)

Business warned about suspicious calls from overseas con artists

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