Running a mail order company on the internet means that all our sales are paid for by credit card.

Over 99% of all our transactions are honest and straightforward, which means it’s quite easy to have a false sense of security. This is never a good idea.

We have just received an order from a Midlands address we know is on a black-list. I won’t be precise, but let’s just say we belong to an organisation that we use to check and validate every deal we make. The only time we might get caught is if the card is being used fraudulently for the first time, and has not been flagged up as stolen.

The transaction we got today went straight through and was approved, but on seeing the address it rang a bell, so we rang our security organisation.

They confirmed that the address was a known nest of villains. Currently there were numerous stolen cards being used to order goods to be delivered there.

That is a crime, but here’s the rub.

We used to report these incidents with proof to the Police. Twice I’ve spent a whole morning making a statement to police officers. It has been explained to me that as far as the Met [ London area ] are concerned, if the fraud does not add up to over £10,000 they do not have the resources to investigate “petty crime”. My argument is that with 71 bent cards that I was told my trickster was using, he could achieve that total in a day!

Luckily the police outside London set their sights differently, and will be knocking on that door quite soon.