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swstout
09-08-2010, 04:07 AM
I got a big order from a “Contractor”. $3,140.78 all material to be shipper to 5 locations. The order covered Nature’s Magic, Aerify, All 3 Nature’s Lawn Fertilizers, Gluten-8. Liquid Lawn Sulfur. Wipeout and Instant Compost Tea. Nice order paid for by MasterCard. The Card went through and I got a transaction ID.

Four days later I still hadn’t received the money in my bank account! Called on it and found the Merchant service couldn’t get thru on the given phone number (with a California area code. I called the client and he gave me another number for verification. I gave it to them and about 30 minutes later, the FBI called me.

The card was stolen! I gave the FBI all the information I had including 3 email adresses, and 2 additional phone numbers that I had contacted him on. They, the FBI, told me that if they could get him from the info I gave them, I was in line for a reward. He apparently was an expert on getting card numbers and was responsible for the theft of about $250,000.00.
I received an email tonight from them and they had transferred the reward to my bank account. I just checked the balance and there was an extra $5,000.00 in it. So it went from good, to bad, to very good.

I had to cancel an order for a JD tractor and attachments in lieu of a house addition for my daughter in-law, so I will be able to re-order (the tractor) sooner than I thought.

I had 6 jobs sold planning on having the JD stuff and had to rent the equipment to do the jobs. I didn’t loose money on the jobs, but made a lot less than I planned. The customers were happy and I have them for next season so everything worked out in the long run.

Steve

LawnMoore
09-08-2010, 06:08 AM
WOW that is freaking awesome, you caught a criminal!!

AND MADE FIVE GRAND!!

Im happy for you, but i have a question.

What were your thoughts and emotions when you learned the FBI was on the phone with you?

swstout
09-08-2010, 06:26 AM
My oldest brother is retired FBI. He wasn't a Special Agent, he was a structural engineer and went to work when a bridge collapsed or such.

I sent him an email and havn't heard back yet. My guess is the products were sent for drug farms. A different kind of grass!

Steve

Steve
09-08-2010, 11:33 AM
Steve,

That is a really wild story!

Is there any chance that the person that claimed to be fbi was in fact part of the fraud? Did you have to give them your bank account information for them to put this $5000 into your account?

If so, are you concerned that this might all be fraudulent?

How does one know for sure what to believe when all this craziness is going on? Also what should one do to protect themselves when making credit card sales?

swstout
09-08-2010, 02:14 PM
My deposit wasw from The US Treasury. Also, the Merchant Account, the FBI and I were on a conference call on the first day of the governmnets involvement. They wanted the email addresses I had, the 5 phone numbers, and the shipping addresses.

The merchant account check flagged a card holder from South Carolina and the area codes for the phone numbers were from California. The Phone numbers did not match the name or address of the card holder.

The merchant account usually only checks for sales over $3,000.00 and that check flagged the order. They checked with the card holder and found he knew nothing about the order. The merchant account notified the FBI.

Steve

Steve
09-09-2010, 11:40 AM
Steve,

In such a situation, how does one know they are speaking with the FBI and not some scammer claiming to be an agent?

Jack Rabbit
09-09-2010, 12:25 PM
If the people from your merchant account contacted the FBI for the conference call then I'd trust that.

In general, if someone claiming to be from a government or law enforcement agency contacts you then get their ID and politely let them know that you will do this: Call the main phone, not the alleged agent's desk/office, for the appropriate agency yourself. Tell them you need to speak to agent/officer whoever. That way you know who you are talking to.

picframer
09-09-2010, 08:13 PM
Steve,

In such a situation, how does one know they are speaking with the FBI and not some scammer claiming to be an agent?

The thing I don't understand being a banker and knowing International banking and clearing laws, when I call in a credit card and I receive an authorization number, fraud or not they can't take the money from my account, it's the issuing bank's problem.

Steve
09-10-2010, 01:56 PM
That is a very good point, also why would a reward be paid so soon?

Don't they normally wait until the prosecution of the criminal is completed and they are convicted?

picframer
09-10-2010, 08:20 PM
That is a very good point, also why would a reward be paid so soon?

Don't they normally wait until the prosecution of the criminal is completed and they are convicted?

Always and it's a process not a quick thing. I have a close relationship both sides on the border with law enforcement as the recent company I stepped down from as CEO was the largest offender GPS tracking company in Canada, not that is has anything to do with this but I have been invited to and have spoken at many law enforcement conferences in the states including crime stoppers, rewards take 9 months to 24 months, I just find it curious this happened so quick, but more important they can't take any money from your account once you have an approval number, no expeptions, it's the merchant banks problem.

Steve
09-11-2010, 01:53 PM
Steve,

Keep us posted on this if you get any further information.