RcTek : Information & Resources for the Model Car Racer

R/C Model Car Supplier Possible Scam Alert

As part of our philosophy of being a resource for model car owners and suppliers alike, we have the following information about some of the ways in which the model car trade can sustain a financial loss due to the fraudulent activities of some individuals.

This article was written in 2001 and may need some revision.

Suspicions Raised Over Requests

Although we clearly state that we don’t sell anything on the RcTek site, in the last couple of weeks, we have had a few requests to supply various model cars abroad. The first request was treat as all others are and the sender was pointed in the right direction to the model car manufacturers site.

The next requests were along the same lines with similar wording with them offering to send the credit card details and hoping for a discount as it was the first order. The close similarity of the wording in these enquiries aroused our suspicions about this being a possible scam where any supplier seizing the opportunity may lose their stock.

We don’t want to put off anyone doing business abroad, but we feel we must make you aware of the scams that can take place. These examples are not limited to just business to business transactions, they can also be carried out by individuals buying cars or parts from model businesses.

Scenario 1

You receive an order with a credit card number and you ship the goods. The credit card number turns out to be either bogus or stolen. The net result is that you lose the goods as it is probably not worth the expense to try and recover the goods from another country.


You should always process the credit card number before shipping the goods, although this offers no protection against stolen cards before they are reported. It is also a good idea for you to run a check with your credit card facility provider and have them check the name and address given is the correct one for the card holder. This is still not bullet-proof, as the fraudster can have obtained the real card holders details and it will seem OK. However it is also a good idea if the amount is fairly large to ask your card facility provider to ask the card issuing bank to contact their card holder and ask them if they have actually placed the order!

One of our supporters had an order only a few weeks ago from abroad where all appeared to be OK and the details were correct, but they went one step further and actually telephoned the card holder (The phone number was sent with the order) and the person had no knowledge of the order whatsoever and was really very pleased to have been told that someone was trying to use their credit card!

Scenario 2

You receive an order with a credit card number and you ship the goods after having processed the card number. The customer claims that they have not received the goods and instruct their credit card company to issue a ‘charge back’. This is a more subtle scam where it may again not be worth trying to recover the goods.


If the order is for a substantial amount, getting the customer to pre-pay via a bank transfer before shipping the goods affords you protection against the above.


As stated above, we don’t wish to put traders off accepting orders from either abroad or at home, but we feel we should keep you informed of the dodges and scams that can be performed by certain individuals.

If you have anything to add to this article that will be beneficial to the trade and public alike, please Contact us and we will publish your comments.

Many thanks to Rob Lochier for his assistance in the preparation of this article.

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© 2001, 2009 by Darren Burnhill