JSA Crime Alert and prevention recommendations
The Jewelers’ Security Alliance has reported four suspects were arrested in September by the Knox County (Tenn.) Sheriff’s Office in connection with a fraud committed against a diamond firm. The case began when a local retail jeweler spoke to an off-duty officer who worked in his store, and told him about a call he had received from a diamond firm.
The diamond firm had informed the local jeweler that the diamond firm had received an order from the local retail jeweler for $150,000 in diamonds, but the local retail jeweler informed the diamond firm that he had never placed such an order.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office located the shipping company handling the diamond shipment and set up surveillance at the shipping company’s pick-up area. A suspect came to pick up the package shipped by the diamond firm and was arrested. Three other suspects were arrested elsewhere. The group had used the local store’s information to place the false order, and was suspected of using the scam in a string of other order frauds originating in the Southeast. The four suspects were charged with computer crime over $60,000, identify theft and attempted theft over $60,000.
- Confirm who you are really talking to, or who an e-mail or text is really from. If there is someone from a retail store or other client and you can not absolutely be sure who is contacting you, call the person on the phone who is placing the order. Do not hesitate to call back the store after the order or request is made to confirm that the order is legitimate. Do not use the number given you by the caller or in the e-mail or text, but call the actual number of the store, obtained through your company records, JBT or other reliable source.
- Do not give out tracking numbers for shipments since this can be used by criminals to divert shipped merchandise to an address of their choice.
- Beware of calls from blocked or “unknown” numbers.
- Do not be fooled to give out inappropriate information to callers seeking information regarding your personnel or procedures. All employees must be alerted not to give out inappropriate information. The scammers want to know as much as they can about your firm so they can sound legitimate.
- Strictly limit procedures allowing changes of address on shipments. Some firms have only one person who can authorize a change of address, or have specified to FedEx or other shipper that all attempts at changes of address should instead be returned to the firm shipping the goods. Firmly notify your shipper regarding your instructions concerning change of address.
Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) is a non-profit trade association with 20,000 members that has been providing crime information and assistance to the jewelry industry and law enforcement since 1883. JSA fulfills its mission of informing and alerting jewelers about crime through frequent E-Mail Crime Alerts and print publications, a website, seminars and consulting activities. JSA also works closely with the FBI and local law enforcement agencies, sharing its data and analysis in order to further the war on jewelry crime.
Visit www.jewelerssecurity.org for more information on crime against jewelers or to post your own crime information.