Re-shipping scam hitting local businesses and your credit card

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by Chris Nagus / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on February 12, 2013 at 11:22 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 12 at 11:41 PM

(KMOV.com) -- Private security questions regarding your credit card prove meaningless when it comes to a creative thief.

An Overland business owner recently found that out when he was targeted by an elaborate scam.

Mark Brown’s printing business receives all kinds of email orders but one from a company supposedly based outside Seattle stood out.

“Their company was located in Washington, they were shipping to Florida and the person’s credit card was in Illinois” said Brown.

The buyer, a Mr. Coburn, wanted 2 thousand flash drives marked with the word “Seroi”.

The first credit card came back stolen, but Mr. Coburn didn’t seem overly concerned.

Brown told News 4 he said “oh I’m sorry I’ll go to talk to management on this.”

Immediately Mr. Coburn had a new credit card, this one belonged to Candice Hoke in Indiana.

“I was totally surprised” said Hoke.  She says whoever stole her credit card information knew all kinds of personal information, from the security code on the back, to questions that are harder to answer.

She told us “I still have not figured out how they knew my mother’s maiden name. I really don’t.”

The thieves wanted the merchandise shipped to a real address in Florida.

Online there are lots of complaints about the phone number attached to the order. One complaint claims the merchandise is sent to a real American address, and then re-shipped to Nigeria.

In the past, News 4’s Chris Nagus has investigated the so called re-shipping scam: where unsuspecting people are hired by scammers for the sole purpose of re-shipping stolen merchandise.

Brown reported the information to lots of agencies. 

“The FBI, the Secret Service, and the U.S. Attorney’s office … they say it’s so widespread it’s hard to police it” said Brown.

This scam is hard to detect, but you need to watch out for small transactions under a dollar on your credit card statements.  They can be a sign that a thief is trying to test your card before trying to charge larger amounts. 

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