Reseller touched by $25,000 Internet fraud

A Melbourne reseller has been caught up in an international credit card fraud and stands to be left out of pocket to the tune of $25,000 after shipping PC components to Indonesia. The scam appears to have been the result of his paid listings with several popular search engines.

Bruce Bathols, proprietor of Bookmate Computer Services (trading as Mobile PC Workshop) in Aspendale, has warned other resellers to be wary of large orders placed with credit cards, particularly from overseas destinations.

Bathols was recently hit by the fraud after two transactions for more than $20,000 worth of components were made with stolen credit card numbers. Despite receiving approval from the CardLink credit card authorisation service, he now finds himself staring down the barrel of a huge loss after credit card fees and shipping costs are tallied.

Additionally, he was also just about to dispatch three top-of-the-line Toshiba Tecra 9000 notebooks, worth over $24,000, when news of the first fraudulent transaction filtered back to him.

"I overlooked all the training, experience and business acumen I had built up over many years because all I could see was the dollar signs," Bathols said. "The end result is I am down the tube $25,000.

"All the same, I am a bit dirty on the bank and CardLink. They were the ones who approved the transactions.

"Now they are quoting fine print in the merchant trading agreement, which says they reserve the right to debit my account in the event of a fraudulent transaction because I didn't see the signature on the credit card.

"It leaves a very sour taste in your mouth."

For the full tale of Bathols' woe read this week's ARN (20 March) out now.