The catalogue advertises hearing aids, compression socks and a shoe insole that can improve sexual performance. Fill in the form with your credit card details, mail it off in the pre-labelled envelope, and three weeks later, your pet-hair vacuum, porcelain clock and denture cleaners arrive.
In the internet age, it’s a peculiarly old-fashioned system, but then most of Sam Campisi’s customers are elderly, and since he established his successful mail-order business Health Pride in 1993, it’s always worked.
That is, until late last year. At first, they hardly noticed. But by January, Campisi realised he had a serious problem. By February, it had “blown up”.
Health Pride’s mail was being intercepted, and scammers were tricking customers into handing over their CVC numbers – the three-digit pin code on the back of every credit card – and stealing their money.
“It’s the first time this has ever happened,” says Campisi. “We couldn’t…