Police are asking businesses to be vigilant after a number of companies across Northern Ireland were targeted by a sophisticated card scam.
Detective Inspector Will Tate explained that a number of business had suffered losses as a result of the scam.
He said, “An agricultural supplies business in the Mid Ulster area has lost £5,000 of stock as a result.
“Police are currently investigating a UK wide credit card fraud which entails someone purporting to buy up large quantities of stock from various sectors. Orders and payments are taken over the telephone and a number of credit cards are used to make payment. Reports suggest that the person placing the order may have an Asian-type accent and asks for the order to be dispatched quickly. The ‘buyer’ will send a local, independent courier to collect on their behalf who is not involved in the scam.
“Many local businesses across the province have been victims of this. It has huge implications for their often relatively small, family run businesses. Average loss is around £6,000. Last year it is estimated that there was £113,000 of lost revenue to local businesses, and this was likely the tip of the iceberg.
“Police would urge caution when taking credit card payment by telephone. These people have all the required details including the person’s address, it gives the appearance of being legitimate. But the callers may not be able to tell the seller which bank the card is issued from.
If you would like to report a crime call the 101 number.