Word has reached AutoServiceWorld.com of a credit card scam in progress that is putting jobbers in the Greater Toronto Area on the hook for the cost of service equipment.
While details are still few, it appears that the perpetrators of the scam have focused on purchasing Prism Alignment units from John Bean, which run about $18,000 each, though there may be other equipment involved. The most recent event occurred on December 20.
So far, similar units have been purchased fraudulently from a NAPA store, Warden Automotive, and Rhena Auto Supply, through there may be other victims.
This is how the scam works:
An individual calls explaining that a relative is opening a shop, but is a bit ‘hard done by’ and so family members are helping him purchase equipment. The caller then explains that they are splitting the cost between two cards. In at least one case one of the cards was declined, at which point the caller explained that it was ‘probably his wife’ had used the card and so offered the business card for the second half of the transaction. This card was accepted on the 16th, and the equipment was picked up on the 20th. On the 21st the Visa office called to inform the company that the charges were fraudulent.
Jobbers are advised to take note of the fact that although a telephone approval through Visa confirms that the funds are available on the card, it is not the same as confirmation that the charge is acceptable. However, in at least one case, as much as three weeks passed between the transaction being put through and it being rejected.
Accordingly, AutoServiceWorld.com advises all jobbers to use extreme caution when accepting credit card payments and to confirm that the payments will be accepted prior to delivering equipment.
Members of the aftermarket are also asked to keep an eye out for the following alignment units which are considered by police to be stolen:
EEWA557AL Prism Aligner Serial Number VP1LE001
EEWA557AL Prism Aligner Serial Number VP1LE011
EEWA557AL Prism Aligner Serial Number VP1LE012
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