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Blackmailed: Scam-Artist Customer Forces Jeweler into Making Costly Decision

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Rather than fight the fraudster, jeweler chooses to protect his brand.

Diamond-swapping allegations made against Kay Jewelers have dominated headlines recently, but online jewelers say that more often than not “they are the victims of fraud by scam artists and a sophisticated secondary market where their baubles get sold,” as the New York Post writes.

The news outlet tells the story of one woman who returned a ring she bought from Los Angeles-based The Pearl Source, though owner Leon Rbibo was “95 percent certain” that the woman had switched out the original pearl for one of lesser value. That forced him to make a difficult decision. “I knew if I told her that it was not our product, it would have ended with a bad review on our site and a credit card chargeback,” Rbibo says. “I decided to eat the $600 cost of the pearl because I think she would have hurt our reputation. Yes, it’s a form of blackmail.”

The woman later bought a different ring and tried the same stunt again, the article explains. This time Rbibo had pictures of the original pearl, but “when he called her bluff, she ordered her credit card company to stop payment on the ring. The bank honored her request because The Pearl Source kept the ring and did not give her a refund. The jeweler argued, to no avail.”

Read more at the New York Post

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