IT wasn’t a phone bid which caught out Joe Smith of J.S. Auctions when it came to credit card crime – this time the fraudsters left a commission bid.
Yet again the fraud seemed to originate in
the London area, in Potters Bar, and the firm based in Bodicote,
near Banbury in Oxfordshire, were left more than £3000 out of
pocket after three lots of gold were targeted.
Most were sovereigns, but Mr Smith is
appealing for anyone with information about the rarest item to let
the police know, although he fears it has already been melted
The Prof William Brown gold medallion is
inscribed with the name of the winner: Stephen Keymer
Johnson for a Latin ode and is in its original presentation
"We executed the bid, emailed the guy to let
him know we'd bought it and he paid for it over the phone," said Mr
Smith. "The card transaction went through OK, security to check
matched, and we assumed because it had gone through there wouldn't
be a problem.
"The 'buyer' sent a courier down to collect
it - I was a little dubious about a courier collecting it so I then
rang the buyer, just to confirm that. He said yes, no problem, I've
sent my courier down. I let the courier take them away and next
morning got a call from the owner of the credit card saying it
The fraud reinforces the message that
dealers and auctioneers should investigate exactly how their credit
card terminals work and what they assess.
Mr Smith added: "It is very important that
people double check that the credit card machine says data match
and not just security match - that's where we were caught.
"We had always assumed if one or the other
didn't match - the address numbers or the security code numbers -
it wouldn't go through. But apparently it does."
Keeping alert to the risk can save you
thousands, as Mr Smith points out.
"We did also have another buyer who tried to
pay several times with a credit card, who was in the same locality
as the other buyer, and all his credit cards were refused. As soon
as I brought up the fact that we needed to confirm his address, he
hung up the phone and we haven't been able to contact him
If you have information about the fraud contact Thames Valley
police at Banbury on 08458 505505, quoting crime reference URN