A St. John's merchant is still feeling the sting after shipping about $1,500 worth of lobster to Vancouver, only to learn that the credit card numbers used to buy them were stolen.

"You know, you got to be on your guard now," said Ben Shannahan, who runs The Fish Depot on Duckworth Street.

In July, Shannahan got an order from Vancouver for lobster. When he contacted Visa, Shannahan said he was told the credit card used for the order was legitimate, and he was given an authorization order.

A few days later, a similar order was placed.

But a few days after that, Shannahan got a call from the Vancouver police, and was told that he had been ripped off.

The credit card numbers, not the cards, had been stolen.

"So I phoned the head person up there in Visa and she said no, 'That's the cost of doing business,' and there's nothing they can do for me," Shannahan said.

The loss was not large enough to cost him his business, but he's unhappy nonetheless.

"[It] pissed me off, I'm going to tell you right now," he said.

"And I'm doing everything before I ship any more lobster, or anything anywhere, I'm making double sure who I'm dealing with."

Shannahan now will only ship fish to customers he knows and trusts.

The scammers had also contacted the Seafood Shop in Churchill Square for about $5,000 worth of lobster.

But owner Pat Fitzgerald said red flags went up and he never sent them anything.