Dec 14, 2013

Protect Your Antiques Business with Smart Check Policies

The recent hubbub surrounding William Meloy’s using bad checks to scam antique stores caught me off guard. In these days of electronic check verification, Internet check processing, and point-of-sale terminals that support multiple payment options, I was surprised at how easily Meloy victimized the dealers.

For those who missed the story, the grandfatherly Meloy allegedly spent his summer defrauding antique stores in Wyoming, Missouri, North Dakota and Minnesota before he was finally arrested in Great Falls, Mont. Writing checks on a closed account, Meloy would make purchases in the neighborhood of $1,000 and then re-sell the goods for cash to other antique dealers.

As I read the news reports and listened to comments from the defrauded dealers, the refrain “He seemed like such a sweet guy” dominated the responses. Of course, building trust is key to a con-man’s operation. I’m reminded of the story of Frank Abagnale, the teenage con-man who, back in the 1960s cashed over $2.5 million worth of forged checks before he turned 21. How did he do this? Read More

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