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Tips for Consumers: TTY Services Used to Defraud Businesses

Tips for Consumers
TTY Services Used to Defraud Businesses

Scam artists have no shame. They will use any tool to defraud businesses in the Hagerstown area, including telecommunications devices for the deaf. This old scam appears to be returning once again.
Here's how it works. The con artist uses a TTY (teletypewriter) or TDD (telecommunications device for the deaf) to contact a business.
Using an Internet-based or telephone relay operator permits the scam artist to shield his real identity. By law, relay operators are not permitted to disclose the origin of calls, and they must relay any message, no matter how suspicious.
The unknown "buyer" places an order for a large quantity of expensive merchandise and pays with a credit card. The business ships the order and finds out later that the buyer used stolen or fraudulent credit card information. The business suffers a financial loss and cannot recover the merchandise.
This type of fraud typically involves:
* Orders for multiple quantities of high-end products;
* Out-of-state or overseas shipping destinations, sometimes to more than one location; and
* Overnight or expedited shipping.
If the credit card number is declined by the bank, the buyer may offer to pay by certified check (also fake). Sometimes the buyer asks the business to overcharge their credit card to cover fees needed to pay their shipping company, which allegedly won't accept credit cards. They ask the business to wire the "overpayment" to their shipper.
If your company receives a large order from an unknown customer (especially in Canada or a foreign country), beware! Using a telephone or Internet relay operator, ask the buyer for their complete name, address and telephone number.

To file a complaint visit: or write: BBB, 1414 Key Highway, #100, Baltimore MD 21230. Their office serves Baltimore and all of Greater Maryland.

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