By Brecken Branstrator
New York--Following a wave of in-store credit fraud in retail jewelry stores across multiple states, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance has issued a warning reminding jewelers to check their credit company’s policy concerning chargebacks and identity theft. 

According to a recent alert from the JSA, a group of Asian suspects is believed to have committed numerous in-store credit fraud crimes in multiple states using fake California driver’s licenses to apply for store credit, resulting in losses for a number of jewelers.

The suspects remain in the store for 45 minutes or longer, and once they have been approved for store credit they purchase high-end watches ranging in price from $7,000 to $25,000, the JSA said.

When the JSA first sent out a warning about this group to the industry in early May, the organization reported attempts or losses in at least seven retail jewelry stores across Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Since then, attempts also have been reported in Nevada, New York, Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, and Colorado.

Many jewelers have reported losses, receiving chargeback notices since the suspects stole the identity of the real person who had been approved for credit. The picture on the license shows the individual in the store, but the name included on the license is being fraudulently used.

The JSA said jewelers need to protect themselves, not only by alerting their store employees about the gang of suspects and carefully scrutinizing identification for high-end transactions and credit applications but also by reviewing their contracts for store credit. Read the fine print to determine what policies and procedures are in place for receiving chargebacks in fraud cases involving identity theft.

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