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Warning against online scams targeted at retailers
Warning against online scams targeted at retailers

Warning: jewellery scam targets retailers

A number of Australian jewellers have been targeted by an overseas scam, with at least one retailer falling foul.
A jewellery buying swindle that appears to be based in Singapore is targeting Australian jewellery retailers.

The scam starts with an introductory email that states, in part, “I'm from SINGAPORE, and I would like to purchase some products from your company but before we doing business, I need your answers for my questions below.”

The email then asks if the retailer accepts credit card payments and can ship overseas via FedEx. One retailer who fell foul of this seemingly honest transaction nearly found himself $18,000 out of pocket after shipping jewellery to Singapore.

After discovering the credit card used for the purchase was stolen, the retailer contacted the Singapore police before it was delivered.

The retailer, who wishes to remain anonymous, explained, “We were targeted by two women from Singapore and a male from Indonesia and they wanted to pay by credit card and I tried to get them to pay by PayPal but they kept insisting that it was all above board and genuine. I sent it by Australian Post [because they didn't want to use Brinks] and it was being sent to an airport address,” he said.

Realising that there was a problem, the retailer managed to circumvent delivery. “Luckily the piece of jewellery was delivered back to us from Singapore three weeks later,” he said.

The JAA issued an “Email Alert” last week and a number of members have since advised that they have been targeted too.

JAA CEO Ian Hadassin said, “If you think about it, why would someone in Singapore or Indonesia really need to be buying jewellery from Australia. That should be your first alarm bell, given that it isn’t as if these Asian countries are short on local jewellery retailers.”

Hadassin said even the wording of the email should raise concerns. “The emails asks; ‘Do you have any discounted prices if I want to buy one or more?’ The products being selected are not inexpensive items and therefore why would a consumer be buying more than one?

“While it is tempting in these tough times to accept what appears to be a great order, if you subsequently do not receive payment then it's no great order,” Hadassin commented.

Having received the Email Alert last week, another member contacted the JAA saying, “I just received an email from one of these scammers and have attached the email sent to me recently, which I was very suspicious of, and have not replied to.”

The email was signed by “Robert Cheung”.

Retailers who believe they are being contacted via scammers should contact the JAA, or Jeweller.

More reading:
Aussie websites cash in on counterfeits

Ellendale Diamonds Australia

Your Say

These same scammers have targeted me
I was targeted just last week by these scammers but a simple phone call to Westpac Merchant Services - Suspicious Card Department - identified the credit cards as Canadian not Singaporean and then of course the billing address does not match up.
posted by Alley Mander on July 13, 2010 11:41

Yes...I received this email and when I enquired which pieces they were interested in they were interested in our 2 most expensive pieces. That rang alarm bells so I informed them that we would be delighted to accept their payment through PayPal and that as soon as they passed credit examination the goods would be shipped. They then responded with a long winded story about mistaken Identity,they would pay directly etc etc. My response was simply thank you for the enquiry and GOODBYE.
posted by Melissa Harris on July 13, 2010 11:46

Wholesalers too
They are not just targeting Retailers, Im a wholesaler of Sports Watches and I get this type of email approx twice per month.
posted by Steve Gades on July 13, 2010 11:56

common sense
its just bloody common sense to deleate these sorts of nigerian scam emails from your computer straight away.I cannot beleive how someone could take these seriously and even send the goods ....Please for gods sake use your brains !!!
posted by Tarun Raniga on July 14, 2010 11:16

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