Trader warns against counterfeit card fraud

A Naracoorte business owner has warned others to beware of counterfeit card fraudsters after being stung with a $700 loss.

Mandy Barr, who operates Aquasteel Industries Outdoor with husband David, sold $700 worth of fishing equipment to a visitor from outside the area late last year in a transaction that was later dishonoured by his bank.

Mrs Barr said the man came to the Smith Street store wanting to buy goods with a pre-loaded Visa card, saying he was on his way to Adelaide and in a hurry.

When his card didn’t work through the usual methods of swiping or inserting, Mrs Barr decided to put the sale through as a manual transaction using MOTO.

After the customer left, she tried again to contact the bank for authorisation, but after several phone calls it was explained that as MOTO had been used and the transaction had been approved, nothing more could be done.

MOTO payments are usually only made over the phone or through mail, but in this case she saw it as the best way to see the customer on his way quickly with his goods.

MOTO payments are defined as “a payment card transaction made where the cardholder does not or cannot physically present the card for a merchant's visual examination at the time that an order is given and payment effected”.

Mrs Barr said while she had some misgivings about the MOTO payment at the time, she trusted that if the transaction was approved, it would mean the money would be forwarded.

“I actually rang David after and said ‘I think I’ve done us out of $700 here’, but I hoped it would all work out,” she said.

While Mrs Barr said the $700 loss was annoying, her main reason for going public was to warn other businesses about accepting MOTO payments.

She said she had since spoken to many traders who accepted MOTO payments regularly, and she wanted to warn everyone there was no safety net if they were dishonoured.

“It’s hard enough in business without this sort of thing happening, so I’d just warn everyone to be extra careful,” she said.

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