Auto repair shops watch out, this scam is targeting you. Scammers have been using Telecommunications Relay Services for a long time to fool business owners, but the Cyber Investigations division with the FBI reports that they’re most recently targeting auto repair shops.
These scam artists are manipulating the fact that under Title IV of the Americans With Disabilities Act, all telephone companies must provide TRS for people with hearing impairments or speech impairments.
The scam artist is using the relay service to call an auto shop to request service for a vehicle. They then claim the car has to be shipped to the auto shop and ask for the repairs and shipping fees to be put on a credit card. Unfortunately this credit card is stolen, and before the business has discovered anything wrong with the card, they have wired the money for the shipping costs back to the scam artist. After the money is wired the business discovers the credit card is stolen, and the business is responsible for the loss.
This process is an ongoing scam and while it’s currently targeting auto shops, has been known to be used for all sorts of businesses. Always be wary of unknown people asking you to wire funds.
Report instances of scams and fraud at www.ic3.gov.
Read more about scam and fraud alerts:
Read the press release from the FBI IC3 below.
FRAUDSTERS CONTINUE TO EXPLOIT TELECOMMUNICATIONS RELAY SERVICES (TRS)
07/08/09—The IC3 continues to receive complaints pertaining to scam artists using Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) to defraud U.S. businesses and consumers. Under Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act, all telephone companies must provide TRS for individuals with hearing impairments or speech impairments.
This IC3 alert is to make the public aware of the continuing abuse of TRS to exploit U.S. businesses. Recent reports indicate scam artists are using TRS to exploit auto repair shops. The scam entails the fraudster using TRS to request services for a vehicle. The fraudster claims the vehicle has to be shipped to the auto repair business and requests the repairs and shipping fees be charged to a credit card. Unbeknownst to the business, the credit card is fraudulent or stolen; however, the charges initially go through without any complications. The business is then directed to wire the money to the shipper to cover the shipping costs. It is not until the shipper’s money is wired that the business is notified of the fraudulent credit card; therefore, the business bears the loss.
A previous PSA titled Notorious “Reshipper Scam” Transforms was released on February 9, 2004, covering this exploit. To view the PSA in its entirety, please visit the following link: http://www.ic3.gov/media/2004/040209.aspx.
Individuals who receive a communication, such as the one described above, are encouraged to file a complaint at www.ic3.gov reporting the incident