More mobility companies have come forward to report suspicious activity after Ableworld warned the industry of what it suspects to be fraudulent activity, involving an individual attempting to purchase folding scooters.
Ableworld’s managing director Mike Williams alleged that an individual captured on CCTV had been entering a number of the company’s stores attempting to purchase a particular folding mobility scooter with a credit card.
Yesterday, the company received a chargeback which Mr Williams said confirms his suspicions of chargeback fraud, and added that the police are now looking into the matter.
Now, a number of industry firms have said that they too have recently experienced suspicious activity involving attempted purchases of mobility scooters.
Paul Fox of Fox Mobility said that the man pictured in Ableworld’s CCTV came into his store in Beverley to buy a Monarch Smarti folding scooter.
Drive DeVilbiss has said that a number of its online retail customers have also reported suspicious activity.
The manufacturer said it has had at least six reports in the last week of orders placed for the same Drive folding scooter, with the individual claiming it is for a relative and asking for it to be delivered to various places, including as far as Scotland.
Commenting on the recent flurry of reports from online retailers and physical dealers, Caroline Holmes, communication manager for Drive DeVilbiss, said “it seems to be too much of a coincidence”.
“They’re targeting retailers but also online companies. We’ve got to protect our industry,” she said.
Peter Braam from Norfolk-based Mobility Supermarket East Ltd said that the retailer has had two attempts of card fraud in the last couple of months. Both attempted purchases, worth about £2,000, were made over the phone.
Each time the individual attempted to purchase an 8mph scooter saying it was for a relation in the area.
Mr Braam said: “He gave us his card details and said that he would forward the delivery address but later phoned to say the relation had been taken to hospital and could not take delivery of the scooter.
“[The individual] tried to get a refund on a different card which we wouldn’t do. Both times we reported this to the card company as a possible fraud but they didn’t seem interested.
“The card companies have since informed us that it was a fraudulent transaction and taken the money back. We haven’t financially lost out because we didn’t provide goods or give a cash back.”
There is no evidence to suggest that the individual captured on Ableworld’s CCTV was involved in the cases of Mobility Supermarket East Ltd or Drive DeVilbiss.
Ableworld’s stores in Wigan, St Helens, Burton, Lincoln and Newark all told head office they had experienced potentially fraudulent activity.
Mr Williams said: “He must be somebody that’s in this market. He was only interested in this one scooter wherever he went.
“Now the police are interested and I thought why not warn others as well?”