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Ferryhill business can ill-afford £3,500 credit card scam
A SMALL business owner says his and other similar sized firms are being made to "suffer" as a result of an increasingly common credit card fraud.
Tony Dartnall, who runs Catertech, in Ferryhill, County Durham, claims he was left £3,500 out of pocket - together with the cost of the goods he supplied - after taking an order for microwaves and other kitchen equipment.
It was paid for over the phone with a credit card - a so-called 'card not present' transaction - but it later emerged the card had been cloned.
Mr Dartnall said his staff had checked the Sheffield shop the goods were being delivered to, which was said to be undergoing conversion into a café.
By the time his catering equipment company, which employs five staff, was alerted to the scam, the goods had been delivered by courier and signed for by a third-party.
He subsequently failed with an appeal against a "chargeback" imposed by the company which processed the card payment, Gateshead-based Streamline.
It refunded the payment taken from the genuine credit card holder's account and charged it to Catertech.
Streamline said credit cards are not a guaranteed form of payment and all 'card not present' transactions are at the retailer's own risk.
It also said evidence which could have proved the transaction was authentic such as a swiped till receipt or a 'chip' read and PIN verification was not available.
Mr Dartnall said: "The person whose card it was got their money back straight away from the credit card company, but we don't get anything.
"We're a small business who suffer because we have lost that money and had to pay for the products which were stolen."
Mr Dartnall said the matter was reported to police in Sheffield, but he was advised they did not have the resources to properly investigate.
Streamline said it was unable to comment on individual cases, but advised business owners to use a variety of checks to reduce the chances of fraud including ensuring that the address used by the customer matched the cardholder address.
A recent survey by the Federation of Small Businesses found that three in ten small firms had been a victim of fraud over the last year - costing an average of £4,000 - with card fraud one of the most common scams.
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