Warning: Fraudulent Telephone Orders

The Jewelers’ Security Alliance says it has identified a pattern of telephone orders to jewelry suppliers in which a suspect posing as a new customer uses counterfeit bank money orders to pre-pay for jewelry merchandise in the $1,500 range.

JSA, in its “Crime Alert” e-newsletter, listed the following recent cases:

* A person using the name “Cliff Brewer,” ordered six gold clasps on Jan. 23 from a Los Angeles supplier to be shipped to his place of business in California, and sent a Washington Mutual money order for $1,500. The merchandise was shipped after the check was deposited, and a few days later the suspect called again and ordered six more clasps. After several conversations about arrangements for picking up the goods, the suspect sent another $1,500 money order, and had the goods shipped. Both money orders were later returned marked “altered/fictitious.”

* A person telephoned a supplier in New Mexico on Feb. 18, and identified himself as “Frank Wright” with an address in Inglewood, Calif. The suspect ordered gold and silver product in two different orders, one pre-paid with a $1,000 money order from Citibank, and one with a $1,500 money order from Washington Mutual, which had almost an identical serial number as the Los Angeles case described above. The goods were sent Fedex overnight, and both money orders were returned as fraudulent.

There was an additional attempt of this nature on another supplier in the Dallas area, who did not ship, JSA said.