A leading supplier of catering parts is warning other companies in the sector to remain vigilant after losing £7,000 to a credit card scam.
Oxford Hardware, which provides commercial plumbing and electrical supplies to fabricators, was targeted by a fraudster who posed as a kitchen installer to purchase products on a credit card that turned out to be cloned.
The stock was purchased by a ‘Michael Perman’ in a series of transactions and delivered to premises in Sydenham, South East London.
Oxford Hardware’s managing director, David Cleave, said that initially there was no reason to think the order was not genuine.
“The scammer had a reasonably convincing story about fitting out a chain of family-owned restaurants,” he explained. “We had a telephone number and email address. Some of the goods were delivered to a business address and others to a residential address.”
However, the company began to grow suspicious as the size of the orders increased and duly contacted the card authority. They were unaware that the card had been cloned and that the name given to Oxford Hardware did not match the name of their card holder.
Cleave said there was a “possibility” that its losses might be covered by the card company but it was too early to tell. In the meantime, he urged other catering equipment companies to be on their guard against such scams.
The items purchased on the cloned credit card included:
100GRBEX & 100GRUBEX 100mm grey rubber castors with a 30mm expander
41 730 5920 Magnetic catch with 20lb pull
41 763 1012 SS Flush pull – full grip
43 764 1449 8ft divider bar
45 775 1002 Small SS flag hinges
V765138 Descaled potwash bowls 760X510X380H
Cleave added: “We have contacted all the customers on our database listing the items and advised them not to buy any discounted stock. They have also been requested to report to us any approaches made to them by the scammers. If anybody has been offered cheap stock of any of the items, we would be very grateful if they can let us know.”
He added that the company was currently trying to piece together as many facts about the scam as possible before notifying the police.
Anybody with information can contact the company on 01295 680068.