DRAM scammers target UK trade

Let’s be careful out there

DRAM scammers seem to have got hold of a copy of the trade publication Computer Trade Only and are phoning up advertisers trying to buy memory on stolen credit cards.

Most memory dealers will have been stung at least once in the past with a dodgy plastic purchase, but we’re just letting you know there’s a little fresh activity out there. It doesn’t sound like the most sophisticated con in the book but it’s worth watching out for.

Jonathan Packer, MD of Border Computing, got the call last Friday. He advertises in CTO under the name Dimms Direct. The caller said he wanted to buy some memory and was responding to the CTO ad.

Packer explained that he’d need payment up front. The man called back on Monday and says he wants to do a deal. He was given the Dimms Direct fax number to send over his details, but he calls back shortly saying something was wrong with the fax (during this time the fax had been activated but nothing had come through) and can they do the transaction over the phone.

Packer asks the man his name. He replies “Mr West.” Though things had been mildly suspicious before, alarm bells now ring. “You don’t say Mr,” says Packer, “Everyone gives their first name in this situation.”

“Can I have your phone number,” asks Packer. The caller says it’ll come through when he faxes things over.” Basically any deal is now off.

The scammer sounds a bit ill prepared for the most basic questions you get asked when you’re buying something, but you must assume they have had some success somewhere in the past.

Packer was done two years ago for £700. The thieves had got a legitimate company registration number, combined with a stolen credit card.

Packer says it can take at least 2 months for a stolen credit card to be taken off the card machines by the card companies, which means thieves can have quite a long period to steal.

He says by far the most stolen credit card calls come from the US and Romania. ®