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Card fraud hits Altrincham retailer for £14k

A retailer from Altrincham is urging other businesses to be aware of a loop hole which has left her out of almost £14,000.

The FSB member, who we are not identifying, has been in retail for over a decade, was scammed out of the cash by fraudsters using a stolen credit card shortly before Christmas. The con artists visited the store, browsed for goods, and then rang to make purchases using a credit card. 

The card later turned out to be stolen, although it hadn’t been reported so at the time of purchase so no flags were raised. 

The shop owner, who even waited for the payments to clear in her business account before going ahead with the sale, initially offered to send the goods to the house where the card was registered, but the fraudsters instead offered to come in to the store to collect the items. 

It wasn’t until six days later, when the cash had already long cleared, that they were contacted by Nat West to say the cards were stolen.

Their card terminal supplier then got in touch to say they were not covered, as the ‘customer’ had collected the items from the store. As per the small print in the card terminal contract, in order for the business to be covered against card fraud, Nicola would have had to send the items to the address of the credit card. 

She said: “The whole episode has left us feeling quite sick. I’ve been retailing for years and this has never happened before – we’ve been well and truly stung.

“The worse thing about it is that we aren’t covered, and while it is in the terms and conditions, it’s buried. I would urge other businesses that take card payments to make sure they read the terms and conditions very thoroughly. 

“I can only hope that other business learn from my mistake.”

The shop owner says she tried to make good he mistake by alerting the police when the criminals made contact again attempting to buy more goods, but the police weren’t interested.

“They said they couldn’t come in to the shop and wait for them, which is fair enough, but we have CCTV images and they’ve not been much interested in those either. We did think about putting them on social media but we thought it wasn’t worth the risk 

“We feel a bit let down really,” she added.