Warning after Exmouth shop falls victim to fraud
PUBLISHED: 10:00 24 March 2017
An Exmouth family business is warning others to be vigilant after falling victim to a scam costing it around £1,500.
Nigel Howatson, owner of electrical appliances shop Bendaire in Exeter Road, said the business supplied a cooker, two dishwashers, a tumble dryer and three vacuum cleaners which had been purchased over the phone.
Initial checks had suggested everything was in order, but the shop was later contacted by Barclaycard and told there had been fraudulent activity.
The items had been collected by courier, and rather than being delivered within Devon as Bendaire believed, were in fact taken to Woking.
At the time Barclaycard notified Bendaire of the fraud, the firm had accepted a second order from the same buyer, and so was only just saved from sending out further goods worth nearly £2,000.
Mr Howatson said he has been told that because the order was taken over the phone rather than by chip and pin, and delivered by courier rather than direct to the card holder, the loss is not covered, though he is now waiting for an arbitration panel to rule on this.
Mr Howatson, who took on the family business from his parents and now has daughter Kirstie on staff, is now warning other traders to be on their guard.
He said: “Be very aware that it can happen to anybody.
“I’ve been in this industry 37 years, and it’s the first time it’s happened to me.
“It’s a kick in the teeth. We have lost about £1,500 worth of appliances.
“We are a small family concern. If it’s happening to a multi-national, they can possibly cover it, but with us it takes a lot of profit to get back what we have lost.”