As consumers the world over turn toward plastic and favor convenience over carrying large amounts of cash, credit card fraud has become a serious concern. Fraudsters target retail establishments of all kinds, and even high-end auction houses, in their dastardly schemes.

According to a recent article in the London Evening Standard, the credit card details of individuals in the United States and Canada were stolen and then used to bilk multiple world-renowned auction houses, including the U.K.'s Bonhams and Christie's.

The suspects, Simohamed Rahmoun and Farouk Dougui, allegedly worked with a third individual, who ran a jewelry store and would help them target items that were valuable and easy to sell, and a fourth person who would act as a courier and pick up the items from the auction houses. All deny any wrongdoing.

"This is a case about a very modern way of stealing because it requires nothing more than the details of credit cards and often a convincing manner," Prosecutor Robin Shellard told the news source. "The victims in this case are some of the country's best known auction houses, provincial auction houses and also some little known [jewelry] shops."

Shellard went on to add that they may never find out what happened to the fraudulently obtained items, which is surely disturbing to the businesses they were pilfered from.

While these bogus purchases were made across the pond, merchants in the United States should be equally wary about credit card fraud. It affects both the individuals whose card details are stolen as well as the businesses the information is used to make purchases from.

POS credit card processing software that allows business owners to easily generate a range of reports can help curb such criminal activity. By identifying voids, edits and other transactions indicative of fraud in exceptions reports, companies may be able to prevent massive schemes from ever getting off the ground.