Credit card scam targeting South Dakota businesses
PIERRE, S.D. — The South Dakota Retailers Association and South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg warn businesses about a credit card scam that has impacted the state.
Multiple businesses in the state have been contacted by entities out-of-state to purchase goods. While the orders seem legitimate, the callers are attempting to pay with fraudulent or stolen credit cards.
In a release Ravnsborg said, “In today’s world, with online sales and directories, it is easy for anyone to find your business. That’s why it’s important to be diligent with email or phone transactions, especially with out-of-state or unknown clients.”
Cammack Ranch Supply in Union Center was a recent target of this scam. The business received a large order from a person out-of-state, which was to be paid for by credit card. The order seemed to be legitimate, as caller had all of the necessary information including the credit card number, expiration date, and three-digit security code.
The situation only became suspicious when calls to the purchaser’s phone number were being answered by a minor child. After learning that the delivery driver for the order was also expecting payment by the same credit card, the owners called lawn enforcement and determined that the transaction was fraudulent, and the credit card was stolen.
Owner Gary Cammack suspected that the scammers thought a business from “small town South Dakota” would be an easy target. “But luckily, being from a rural area gives us a really good feel for the industry,” Crammack said, “and we were able to spot something that didn’t feel quite right.”
As the South Dakota Attorney General’s office and South Dakota Retailers Association work to identify similar scams and track down the scam artists, they offer a list of things to look out for to prevent fraudulent purchases.
Some common traits for this credit card scam include:
– The order is placed from a location outside of South Dakota and the surrounding region.
– The credit card used to purchase the item has an out of state address, different from the location of the purchaser.
– The billing address and the shipping address are different.
– The orders require long-distance shipping.
– The order is scheduled to be picked up by a delivery service or contract driver, selected by the purchaser.
“Identifying the practices used during these fraudulent transactions is a public service for area businesses,” said Retailers Association Executive Director Nathan Sanderson. “By publicizing these harmful actions, we hope to inform the business owners in our state and demonstrate that South Dakota is watching.”
Businesses are reminded to ensure the legitimacy of emailed orders, especially if it is a new customer. If in doubt, verify the identity of the purchaser before proceeding or contact the credit card company to confirm the information on the card and that it has not been stolen. Extra caution should be exercised for out-of-state orders, especially if payment is coming from a different entity.
If you believe you have been the target of a scam, report the fraudulent information to the Attorney General’s consumer protection division at www.consumer.sd.gov or 1-800-300-1986.