Reports are reaching BikeBiz that scammers are now targetting retailers, including chain Hargroves Cycles, by posing as the store owners, composing letters to couriers with pinched letterheads, before asking for a re-direction of substantial orders.
Earlier this week, BikeBiz reported that distributors including Saddleback, Falcon and Dawes, among others, had been targetted, with the fraudsters placing orders for up to the value of £50,000.
Hargroves Cycles is just one of the many retailers to have halted the fraudster’s efforts. Peter Hargroves has said: "They had ordered 21 bikes from one bike supplier themselves – again using one of our shop manager’s names to authenticate the order. Obviously it was easy to find the name of a shop manager and use it to order bikes – it just took the ‘front’ to actually do it, and hope that the person who took the call didn’t know the shop managers voice. (this is exactly what happened – our regular phone sales contact was on holiday – pure luck for the fraudster). The person who ordered these bikes made up an order number that we wouldn’t have used – our order numbers are generally five digits generated by our Epos."
If your store has been targetted, or you have any further information, please email BikeBiz with your story.