‘Tis the season for merry-making, mistletoe and, unfortunately, scammers, who hit up retail florists with an array of seemingly plausible scenarios designed to lighten your wallet, steal your customers and worse. Don’t let these Grinches steal your profits this season or anytime throughout the year. The Society of American Florists maintains a Scam Alert page listing some of the cons reported by members, including this in-store pickup ruse added this week:
“Subject: Urgent flower order. My son’s wedding is coming up on the 22/03/2017 and I will like to place an order for 5 Large Centerpieces at $200 each to be picked up? Total $1000. I know that it will be better for me to call but this is urgent and I’m preparing for an ear surgery because I have tumor in my hear. Can you place this pickup order for me? I will be paying with my credit card.”
Ars Technica, publication devoted to technology for “alpha geeks” explains the con: “Instead of directing the shipments to drop points that might draw the attention of fraud detection algorithms and law enforcement, they’re taking advantage of the latest ‘gotta have it now’ approach to online shopping — the ‘in-store pickup’ option. … By recruiting someone in the same area as a victim’s billing address and providing them with the data required to create a fraudulent credit card, the criminal organizations dodge computer-based fraud detection algorithms and put the risk of detection largely on the shoulders of the person trying to pick up the item in the store. Much of the year, that might be a coin-toss for success. … ‘The fall isn’t just the shopping season for the holidays—it’s the shopping season for fraudsters’ because seasonal retail employees often aren’t trained to spot fake credit cards and retailers are more concerned with dealing with volume than clamping down on potentially bad transactions.”
Report “fishy” emails to SAF at email@example.com.