State Warns Small Businesses Of TTY Operator Scam

The state is warning small businesses about a scam that nearly cost a restaurant hundreds of dollars.

The North Carolina Attorney General's Office says Big Ed's restaurant in downtown Raleigh got a call made through a TTY operator for the hearing impaired. The operator said the call was from a customer who wanted to order 200 sausages at a cost of $700. The customer provided a credit card number, and an email address to send the invoice. The state says the caller then asked the restaurant to wire $852 and charge it to the credit card. That is what tipped off the restaurant. A bakery in Wilmington received a similar call through a TTY operator from someone who needed money wired.

The ask for money to be wired is a big red flag.

“Don’t let scammers take advantage of you and the TTY system,” Attorney General Roy Cooper said. “Falling for one of these calls will cost your business money instead of helping you earn a profit.”

Here’s how to spot and avoid similar scams:
-If you get a TTY call from someone you don’t know, always ask for the person’s full name, address and telephone number.
-If the caller wants to place an order from your business by credit card, ask for the name of the bank that issued the card, their toll-free number as listed on the card, and the three or four digit verification code listed on the back of the card. Verify the information with the bank before placing the order. This will help weed out callers using stolen credit card numbers.
-Never agree to charge a credit card or cash a check and then wire money back to someone.

Consumers can report telemarketing scams to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or filing a complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov .


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  • by Clifton Location: Washington on Jul 8, 2011 at 03:35 PM
    Help me understand just how stupid people are. The caller ordered something, then asked for MORE money than they paid to be sent to them, and the restaurant nearly complied????? I'm not sure who was the stupid one, the caller, or the restaurant for "nearly" wiring the money back to the caller. During something this stupid......HANG UP THE PHONE STUPID.
  • by Jelena Location: Raleigh on Jul 8, 2011 at 07:57 AM
    Just as an addition to the article, you might find interesting that Apple just released an iPhone app a few days ago, called Scam Detector, which has a lot of scams. The app exposes in detail over 350 of the most notorious scams in the world. It is worth checking it out, if you have an iPhone. It’s kinda cool, actually. There is their info: www.scam-detector.com
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