A national equipment association has reported a prolific con artist targeting dealers in several areas of the U.S., including but not limited to Massachusetts, Florida and most recently in the Louisville, Ky area.
Be Proactive in Preventing Fraud Victimization
While your area may not be affected by this particular con artist, this is an excellent opportunity to remind your staff to be on watch for suspicious activity. Con artists may target businesses anywhere.
Con Activity Patterns
- Subject reportedly will purchase or rent higher value equipment, paying by check.
- Account is valid but checks will be returned as NSF.
- Equipment is then pawned, and the subject cannot be located.
Trust But Verify - Tips to Consider
- Contact your merchant services to verify odd credit card information, and ask that the issuing bank contact the card holder to verify the transaction.
- Independently locate, verify and contact a bank that a client proposes wire transfers through; confirm the client's banking history with the institution.
- Contact an issuing bank on counter checks, cashiers checks or company checks to verify the account standing and funds availability.
- Hold equipment until you are satisfied payment will clear on out-of-town checks. A hold may deter a con artist from targeting your business.
- Confirm delivery addresses yourself: contact the businesses to confirm the buyer is associated with the address.
- Require a thumb print, and digitally scan identification.
- Test your security cameras to ensure customers can be clearly identified.
- Go with your gut. Time and again, victimized businesses report that employees had a sinking suspicion about the transaction. Act on your suspicions until you are confident the transaction is legitimate.
- Communicate fraud attempts - share information on attempts made against your business so that other businesses are forewarned.