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What's going on here?...

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Someone running a business from a private house (scruffy house in a rough area)

 

They're ordering huge volumes of branded goods, genuine products from legit official UK suppliers,mostly clothes and shoes...  Adidas, Next, House of Fraser, etc 

 

Some of these goods are adressed to them personally and some to business name, let's call it ''Zoe's clothes'' so they do appear to have some form of ''official'' business although it's not registered with CH (I've checked)

 

All the various couriers delivering this stuff are instructed to just leave the items in the garage and are told to sign for anything that needs a signature if nobody is at home.

The householder running this business seems to not care about this stuff, even if they are at home to sign for a delivery they just sign for it and pay no attention to what's being delivered

 

Every so often another courier turns up and takes all these goods out of the garage, again often without the householder being at home or paying any attention to what's being taken away.

 

So what's going on here? How can they be paying full UK RRP for these goods and yet still be making a profit?

 

I suppose the most obvious answer is they're doing something illegal like this being a ''drop house'' for a gang using stolen/cloned credit card details to buy all this stuff, but they've been ordering from the same suppliers and retailers for probably a couple of years now, surely these retailers would have cottoned on by now if all this stuff was all being paid for using stolen details?

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If this has been going on for years then most likely the suppliers are in on it, they need 'businesses' like this one to embellish their sales figures and get rid of surplus stock.

(the managers need to meet their targets to get their bonuses)

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I have reported it to Crimestoppers anonymously online, so I don't know if they followed it up though.

 

They also did get raided by the police a while ago, I don't know the reasons for the raid but it had no effect at all on their business... the stuff just kept on coming!

 

If it is a card scam surely the retailers and suppliers couldn't be ''in on it''?? Reputable brands knowingly accepting false/stolen payment details?

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I have often wondered if there is an efficient way to do money laundering this way.  It is the only way I can rationalise the occasionally strangely expensive item I see on ebay.

I don't really see how it would actually work, though, particularly with large volumes.

I suppose what I have in my head is something like:

  • Buy something official at price x.
  • Put it on ebay BIN at 5 x
  • 'Buyer' with strange email address buys it, pays cash, picks up.
  • All of a sudden you've legitimately 'made' 4x profit -- not your fault that the buyer was a moron and paid too much.
  • You can dump the stuff you 'sold'.
  • Or, even better, send it to a 'mate', who can sell it legitimately on ebay, for a cash commission (ie, your guy with the garage).
  • All 'legal', all stuff legit, etc.  Just the actual cash bit which is complicated (ie, difficult to explain everything going as cash/collection).  Maybe paypal can be sufficiently obscure after a couple of middleman transactions to allow it all to work.  Dunno.

But it all sounds a bit like hard work when you can just go to the local bookies and do the same on a FOBT for a fraction of the effort.  

There was a time when you could do complex VAT carousel fraud this way, but I understand that it is much more difficult now.

 

 

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OP - I watched a tv prog on this some time back. Ageing and thicko UK divorcee fell in 'love' with African beauty who sweet-talked him online. She masterminded his UK home being used for these 'drops' and collections (goods bought with stolen credit cards),  and he fell headfirst for some nonsense about the girl and him having a 'business' together and eventually marrying. She even got him to invest his own money with her. 

Needless to say it all ended in tears with him potless,  and his 'soul mate' revealed as a plump African bloke in an internet cafe a continent away.

This transcript of an American show deals with this type of scam...

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/17822386/ns/dateline_nbc-to_catch_an_id_thief/t/hunt-id-thieves/#.WFE3KfmLRPY

The relevant bit is a long way into the transcript and involves a TV investigator knocking on the door of one Angela Cater, whose online 'fiancee' is using her home as a delivery/collection point for goods ordered with stolen credit cards.....

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Probably a drop point she gets paid to use her address

Others order stuff via stolen bank, credit card details, A girl i know was asked to do it few years back, she said no but they get all sorts delivered come and pick it up and sell it or the items are ordered by them for others for X discount

They get cash debt or credit card never gets repaid, police raid the delivery address after X weeks and its normally someone saying they rented out there garage and don't have there details

The criminals move to the next idiot that lets them use there address

The girl i know was asked buy a guy she met in a club flashing money about 

 

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