So here is what happened: one of our clients, a family-run business in Leeds that sells craft pottery and tableware, received a returns request for a recent online order from their customer just before lockdown. Not really uncommon for any online business.
The interesting stuff started to happen when a few days later they received through the post a parcel – a box filled with…. canned fish (all out of date). Weird right? It got weirder still when they received an email from the same customer claiming that he had returned the goods and demanded the refund. The tracking number that the customer provided as ‘proof of return’ matched… the one on the box with the canned fish!
The story did not end there, after the company (obviously) refused to issue any refund, the scammer complained to his credit card issuer claiming that the company stole his money by refusing to provide the refund even though he ‘returned the order’. So the net result was that the honest business was around seven hundred pounds down plus a chargeback fine from the bank…
Luckily, just a few months before this situation took place, we installed at the premises of the business a full set of Hikvision video security system which captured in great detail the ‘return of the order’ and the puzzlement of the business employees crowded around the package with tinned fish trying to make sense of it.
This has proved to be sufficient evidence for the bank to remove the chargeback claim and for Action Fraud to take interest in this ‘fishy’ customer (and yes, I find it especially ironic that of all things, the scammer chose to FISH!).
Yet, this certainly provides a fresh reminder to online and retail businesses especially during these corona-virus times, about the need of being vigilant and importance of having evidence to support your case against unscrupulous individuals! If you do not have video cameras in your business, then as the minimum you should consider making video recording of any (large) order being sent out to customer and any returns.