Merchants beware – a new credit card scam has hit the scene. As reported by a Lee’s Summit merchant, the call was received via a deaf communications service.
The person ordered products valued at $1500 for a birthday party and provided a credit card number for payment. The merchant successfully ran the card and was told that a courier service would be picking up the merchandise and doing a variety of other tasks for the person who was calling from England. After some additional conversation the merchant was asked to do the person in England a huge favor and run the credit card for another $700 and wire it to the courier company for them.
Again the credit card was run successfully and the merchant wired the funds to the ‘courier’ information provided. A series of calls back and forth over the next couple days ended with the scam artist delaying delivery, ordering another $1000 of product and again asking for a favor. This time the suspicious merchant told the caller that they were extremely busy and they would have to call back.
The merchant immediately called their credit card processing company who informed them payment had been rejected and then referred them to the Citi Bank, the credit card company. Citi informed the merchant that this indeed was a new and serious scam. It is untraceable because of their use of the web based deaf communication services; the scammers simply logs on to a web site and types their side of the conversation. While they do have to provide calling information, there is no validation of its legitimacy.
What makes this especially irritating is its use of a deaf communications service. Just the nature of the call often evokes a sympathetic reaction thus making you more inclined to ‘help’ someone out.