Eco-friendly Brisbane online children’s retailer Ankle Biters has lost $24,000 due to credit card fraud committed last week, putting the business and Ferny Grove family on the brink.
Rubbing salt into the wound, the business’s bank, Commonwealth, has frozen the account and turned off the EFTPOS system until the money is repaid.
At a time when so many people are finding day-to-day life a struggle, Ankle Biters founder Tanya Love is calling herself “stupid” for trusting an overseas order that would have been a big break for the business.
The ‘customer’ known as “Daniel Robisson”, a wholesaler from the United Kingdom, made four large purchases via the Ankle Biters website with stolen credit cards. He organised for Ankle Biters to transfer large amounts of money using the business EFTPOS machine to his ‘shipping agent’, who was to collect the goods. The shipping agent and the wholesaler were the same person.
Ankle Biters is unable to accept credit card payments and international orders now as a result. This setback has come at a difficult time for Tanya and her family as they were preparing to open a physical store in a few weeks.
“We are a small business simply wishing to support the needs of our young family and wanting to find good in all of the people we deal with. Sometimes, however, these wishes are taken advantage of and we find ourselves in a situation like the one we now face,” Tanya explained on her blog.
“Commonwealth Bank don’t seem to understand that if we can’t trade, we have no income and won’t even be able to pay our rent, let alone return any funds. We have five small children and were already struggling to make ends meet.”
To make matters worse, the customer repeatedly asked after Tanya’s children, as they had been ill. “They passed on their ‘good wishes’ to our children whilst they were sick, all the while knowing that their actions could very well threaten our livelihood and our ability to provide even the most basic of needs for our kids.”
“We now have an extremely long road ahead of us if we ever want to build any kind of financial security for our children, which is the main reason that we built Ankle Biters in the first place.
“Our joy and hope at being able to run a business that enabled me to stay at home and be a mum to our kids, whilst earning a steady income, has now been replaced with hurt and frustration as we try to make ends meet. We were so desperate to keep our business afloat that I stupidly ignored my gut feeling and continued with these transactions.”
The matter has been reported to police and Tanya and her family are now prepared for a long legal battle to get the money back.
Tanya is providing regular updates on the situation via her blog anklebitersduds.blogspot.com/. She has also set up a Facebook group to gain support for the fight against Commonwealth Bank http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=114624500255&ref=nf.
For more information or to organise an interview please contact me, or Tanya at Ankle Biters directly on (07) 3351 7950 (phone), 0488 110 806 (mobile) or (07) 3351 7210 (fax).