Stoke-on-Trent Tyre Firm Stung by Credit Card Fraudsters

Kevin Ecclestone’s For Tyres shop in Bucknall, Stoke-on-Trent has lost nearly £600 after Streamline – his credit card handler – reclaimed the money paid by people using cloned cards, reports The Sentinel. “They are all people who have seen us trading on the internet,” Ecclestone told the local paper. “They ring up and pay over the phone with a credit card before the tyres are picked up. When you say they can pay when they collect they make up an excuse, like they need to send someone else to get the tyres.”

Streamline then contacted the small business owner to tell him the card owner denied making the purchase. “It’s happened four times where we’ve taken the money and then it’s been taken back, but on two of those occasions they never came to collect the tyres.”

Ecclestone said he had been targeted again over the weekend – he took the payment in the hope of calling the police when the buyer arrived to collect, but he did not turn up. He said he expected the money from the transaction to be reclaimed and has decided not to take payment over the phone again.

“We have only been in business since March,” he said. “My business partner and I were both made redundant last year so we thought we would do this. We can’t afford to lose this money. It’s in the small print from the credit card handling company that they can take the money back in certain circumstances.”

A spokesman for Streamline told The Sentinel that taking payments without the customer present exposes the trader to the risk of fraud. A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “We have an investigation into these incidents. Our advice to businesses, particularly when people are collecting goods, is to take payment via pin number in person to ensure you are protected.”

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