An Ashland, Ore., jeweler saved his jewelry store from a
fraudulent transaction after receiving a suspicious phone call June 14.
Ron Hansen, co-owner of Gold and Gems Jewelry, became
suspicious when a man called the store and gave him credit
card information over the phone for a gold bracelet worth $1,700, according
to an Ashland Police Department press release. The man told Hansen he would
have his assistant pick up the bracelet.
“I got concerned because, rather than having me ship the product to someone with a stolen credit card—which unfortunately is a common occurrence—they had wanted an assistant to come pick up the item,” Hansen told JCK. “I have a lot of professional clients that want me to deliver to their offices and I am friends with them all. This guy who I didn’t know from Adam wanted to buy a bracelet that he had never seen. He was more concerned about the value of the bracelet than how it looked, and being a jewelry professional it was a red flag.”
When Hansen contacted police, it was discovered the credit
card information did not match the name given by the caller. Further
investigation revealed the credit card information was stolen.
The man called the store later to confirm the charge for the
credit card had been accepted and a woman arrived at the jewelry store to
obtain the bracelet.
The woman revealed she replied to an ad for mail
forwarding and would be paid $50 to ship the bracelet. She claimed
ignorance that it was a scam.
Police identify the scam as “drop shipping” and say that anyone participating in such activity may be held
John Kennedy, president of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, tells JCK jewelers should be aware of
telephone orders that request another person to pick up the item. “If it’s a
known customer, you may treat it differently. But with strangers it usually
raises a red flag,” he says.
Kennedy advises jewelers to check the billing address
against the shipping address. If they are different, that should raise a red flag.
Some may ask for items to be shipped through FedEx overnight so they have
access to the tracking number to change the address.
“It just doesn’t happen in the real world that someone from
Chicago calls a store in Mobile, Ala., for an item,” he says.