Scammers are continuing to target garages with a widely-used ‘card not present’ method where tyres are purchased over the phone using stolen card details before being collected and payment reversed by the card company, the Independent Garage Association (IGA) has said.
The trade body has received multiple new reports from its members who have been targeted by the scam.
An IGA spokesperson said: “This is a very common scam which happens nationwide on both credit and debit cards, and the RMI Legal team advised that they are continuing to receive queries regarding businesses losses due to tyres purchased with stolen credit card details.
“In previous attempts at defrauding garages, goods such as vehicles have been collected within 24 hours of the fraudulent purchase.
“Further purchases are also attempted before the credit card company charges back the outstanding balance, leaving the trader with no goods/vehicles and no payment.
“A new development in a recent instance is that the card details used to conduct the purchase have been stolen from another garage business, who shared them via an online transaction to purchase parts.”
Garages are urged to remain vigilant when conducting card transactions in person, online and via phone.
Where transactions over the phone are necessary, Barclays bank recommends businesses obtain the card number, card expiry date, card security code, cardholders full name, address and phone number.
In addition, the delivery address and name of the person receiving the goods should be noted, along with the gross transaction amount.
The spokesperson added: “If you are at any point unsure of the legitimacy of a transaction, do not proceed and contact your banking provider to verify your queries.
“Although there has been an increase in distance sales to help maintain business’ revenues throughout the coronavirus pandemic, as a garage, a credit card payment over the phone should be very unusual, and should immediately put you on your guard.”
IGA members can report suspicious activity, to the IGA member helpline on 0845 305 4230.