South African scammer is caught out by own con

THE last time someone tried to con Ballina's Peter Hampton he conned them back – now it's happening again.

But Mr Hampton, who owns a commercial equipment company, says the scammers' latest efforts have raised the bar, with smarter, more convincing techniques.

“I recently received an email from a man wanting a quote on our ice-cream machines. I was able to track his location and after discovering he was from Ghana, South Africa, I was instantly suspicious,” Mr Hampton said.

Mr Hampton, who last year tricked a fraud syndicate by encouraging them to hand over stolen credit card numbers and then cancelling them, said he knew something wasn't right with this order.

“Similar to the last scam, why would someone from South Africa want an ice-cream machine from a small business in Ballina,” he said.

Mr Hampton said the South African man claimed he was buying the machine for his wife's restaurant in Ghana and had to pay on several cards.

“The man so far has given me the details of four credit cards which, unlike the last scammers, have secure ID codes off the back of the cards along with certificate-verified email addresses,” Mr Hampton said. “The C-V email addresses and secure ID codes make the credit cards appear more legit, so the thieves are getting smarter.”

Mr Hampton said he was stringing the 'scammer' along by telling him he was processing the credit cards, now up to $2500 of the $9000, while instead informing the bank.

He said he was communicating with the Australian Credit Card Commission, and may also contact local police.

Senior Constable Michael Hogan said he strongly urged any business or individual suspicious of credit card fraud to contact the police.

“The police put a lot of time into credit card fraud and in this case we can contact international authorities to help with the matter,” he said.

Mr Hampton said making a purchase was the first step with credit card fraud.

“Once they know the cards have been processed, they try and get the shipping money or the refund money,” he said.



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