ESP guitar distributor, Selectron, contacted MI Pro on Wednesday to report that it was alerted by requests from different retailers for identical 'shopping lists' of high-value ESP guitars. Two retailers had received identical requests, promising payment by cheque. Selectron's Clive Norris said his suspicion was that, as before, retailers would actually receive the cheques promised but they would be for sums greater than the value of the goods. The retailer would then be contacted by the purchaser suggesting a refund be made by an electronic means when the goods were sent - only to find that the cheque would later bounce
A similar attempt was made to scam Anderton's of Guildford in late 2007, by a customer based in Saudi Arabia. In this instance, the target was a consignment of ten PRS guitars. At the time, Lee Anderton explained that the method relied on the time it takes UK banks to clear foreign cheques - the bogus nature of which could sometimes takes weeks to be revealed - by which time both the goods and the refund would have vanished.
Later on Wednesday, Tony White of Bonners of Eastbourne contacted MI Pro with a similar report saying: 'There appear to be a very large number of fraudulent mail order purchases for high priced top-end keyboards at present, and I think it would be prudent to notify all of your readers of the "tell-tale" signs that should draw their attention to these transactions:
1) The customer always tries to order over the telephone (i.e.. not via a dealer's website)
2) The customer does not have a landline phone number
3) There is no price negotiation
4) The customer wants to know what time and by whom the parcel will be delivered
5) The customer knows nothing about the product they are purchasing because "it is for their church / a friend / their producer" etc.
'Dealers need to be vigilant when checking the validity of an order - good practice is to always obtain a landline phone number that is then checked with directory enquiries to ensure it is registered to that person's name at the given address (as well as getting a full AVS Data match on the credit card details).
If all the above does match, then ID should also be obtained upon delivery. This is by no means a full-proof system for accepting mail order transactions, but it should go some way towards weeding out potential fraud.'
White added that the 'shopping list' in his case included: Roland Fantom Synths, Yamaha Motif Synths, Yamaha Tyros Range and Korg M series.