Fraudsters: Why you shouldn’t try to scam a CCTV company!
Just before Christmas we were at the receiving end of a rather crafty scam attempt. Read on to find out why scamming a security company isn’t a very good idea!
Just another day in the office…
Picture the scene: you receive a fairly typical returns request from a recent customer to your online webshop. The request is a little strange, given that it comes bundled with the (now redundant!) distance selling regulations as a cover for return, and in their messages the customer has changed the spelling of their own name multiple times, but otherwise seems perfectly ordinary.
Fast forward a few days, and your office receives through the post an unsolicited, signed, and tracked bottle of ‘healing water’; new-age homeopathic liquid that supposedly claims that it can cure ailments and ills. All very strange, but made even more so by the email you receive a short while later from the customer. They declare that they have return your goods, that they have proof you received their returned ‘order’, and they threaten you with legal action if you do not refund them their money. The tracking code that they supply with this threat corresponds to that of the (who would have guessed?) bottle of ‘magic healing water’.
What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is a classic case of ‘switch fraud’ – where some unscrupulous person has attempted to make off with a few hundred pounds in CCTV equipment while an honest small business is forced to foot the bill. By first ordering some expensive cameras, then requesting a refund and sending a signed and tracked package to the company (containing nothing), the scam artist can make a legal claim that in fact they’re the one who has been scammed, and so make off at the end of it all with some free high-end products that they can either use or flog online for profit.
Unfortunately for the would-be-fraudster who tried this on us at use-IP, we have in the office (funnily enough) a lot of active CCTV equipment! It becomes very hard to claim that you’ve returned a number of large pieces of kit when there is direct video evidence of our confused staff crowding around the package you’ve sent, clearly containing a bottle of water, trying to work out what exactly it is and why we’d been sent it!
Luckily for us, both the payment company and Action Fraud are more than happy with the evidence we’ve provided them, and are now investigating this individual for any other similar crimes they may have committed.
The moral of the story?
In future, perhaps don’t try to scam the very people who make it their business to secure others against this, and many other, types of crime!