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Jewelry store owners - Fraud Alert

Dear Orchidians,

I have read many threads on the fraud that has been occuring via the
internet and over the phone and I writing to alert you of a case of
fraud that happened here in Minnesota to a jeweler that I work for.

A hearing impaired person calls up looking for a gift to send to her
husband who is located in Ghana, Africa. She wants gold chains, gets
pricing and requests that the gold chains are sent via FedEx 2-Day
service to the Ghana address and she pays with a credit card. The
credit card is approved and the transaction takes place, if you fall
for it.

In Mid-America Jewelry News this crime has been reported by jewelers
in small towns across the country. The caller sometimes identifies
himself as a hearing inpaired male, or female and uses the talk-type
phone connection for people who are hearing impaired, so it is
impossible to clearly identify the caller anyhow.

Ultimately, the credit card used has been stolen and when the
cardholder is alerted, they are typically protected against fraud
and the jeweler is out the merchanidise and the shipping costs since
they took the card via phone and were unable to check and identify
it as belonging to the real cardholder.

Just a warning to fellow jewelry store owners, especially in small
towns, if you receive a phone call similiar to the one I described,
the only action I am aware that you can take is refuse or decline to
help the individual and report it to the JSA. Any other comments on
this fraud I welcome everyone to post. Thank you.

Sara D. Grinnell
C&L Gems LLC
Minneapolis, MN

I’ve had two such calls from a relay operator. The first one I took
thinking it may be a real call from a hearing impaired customer.
When I learned that they wanted 10 men’s watches sent to a foreign
country, sorry I forgot which, I knew it sounded fishy. The second
call I got I declined to even take the call. My red flag was already
up at that point. It’s seller beware. Janine in Redding CA.

This person is insesant. Must have called my store 15 times. Also
has you tied up on the phone typing the word “Yes” for 10 minutes at
a time. Just hang up.


Several local jewelers here, in East Tennessee, have received
similar calls. One store said they had repeated calls wanting to buy
mens chains. Everyone here seems to have adopted the no over the
phone sales tactic.


I also received a call from a relay operator. "Prospective Client"
wanted to buy a watch.

“Sorry, I don’t sell watches.” (the truth)

‘Oh, what do you sell?’

“Diamond jewelry”

Relay operator: ‘He says he’d like to buy diamond jewelry’

(The sound of David hanging up the phone)

David Barzilay, Lord of the Rings

I had ANOTHER call from a relay operator this morning. The first
thing which I asked the operator was “where was the call coming
from?” The answer was “Berkeley, CA.” So apparently not all of these
calls are coming from overseas. Trying to do my ‘good citizen’
routine, I spent FORY MINUTES trying to get the USPS Postal
Inspectors interested in getting involved in this scam while it was
’going down.’ NO ONE was interested. I was transferred to several
different departments, given various toll and toll-free phone
numbers, wasted a lot of time. It certainly gives me confidence that
our law-enforcement personnel are looking out for our best

David Barzilay
Lord of the Rings
607 S Hill St Ste 850
Los Angeles, CA 90014-1718