The Niagara Regional Police Service, Centralized Fraud Unit, has seen a recent increase in a common scam affecting local businesses.


“Card Not Present Fraud” – A card not present fraud occurs when a business receives an order by email, phone, or otherwise and neither the cardholder nor the payment card are present for the transaction.

Typically, a large order for merchandise is placed using a payment card that is later found to be fraudulent or stolen. In many cases, the merchandise is picked up or delivered prior to the payment card being discovered as stolen, resulting in a charge back on the business.

This scam has been predominantly targeting businesses that provide construction and/or home improvement materials (such as lumber, garage doors, wire, etc).

The Niagara Regional Police Service is advising businesses to be vigilant when receiving “card not present” orders, and take steps to verify the legitimacy of the order. The scam orders have been frequently made by “first time” customers, with arrangements for the product to be picked up at a later date, and delivered to / or originating from addresses outside of the Niagara Region.

Any businesses having been the victim of this scam are encouraged to report the matter to the Niagara Regional Police at (905) 688-4111, or to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at

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