Warns of New Fraudulent Order Wrinkle

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A number of booksellers with Web sites have recently reported a new twist to the problem of fraudulent orders. In addition to orders for large numbers of Bibles and medical texts, booksellers are now seeing fraudulent orders for popular trade titles, sometimes with expedited shipping, and with domestic billing and shipping addresses.

"While international orders for large numbers of Bibles and medical texts still need to be avoided, you should also now widen your radar to include orders that may seem suspicious to you for other reasons," said Director Len Vlahos in a recent communication to participating stores. "Unfortunately there is no hard and fast rule for identifying a fraudulent order, so we suggest you err on the side of caution when you suspect something is awry. If an unknown customer several states away is ordering multiple copies of one or more titles with expedited shipping, you should question it. Communicate with the customer, and communicate with the bank."

Vlahos encouraged booksellers to contact staff for a second opinion if they have doubts about a particular order, although he noted, "can't be a final authority on which orders are fraudulent and which are legitimate." is in the midst of a system upgrade, which will result in better fraud protection for wholesaler fulfilled orders when it is completed in September.