Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fraudsters Continue to Exploit Telecommunications Relay Services

Over the last few years, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has received thousands of 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 or speech impairments.

A new twist involves several recent reports of perpetrators of these schemes exploiting auto repair shops by using TRS to request services for a vehicle. The fraudster claims the vehicle has to be shipped to the shop and requests the repairs and shipping fees be charged to a credit card. The charges initially go through without any complications, but unbeknownst to the business, the credit card is fraudulent or stolen. The business is then directed to wire the money to the shipper to cover the shipping costs. After the money is wired, the business is notified of the fraudulent credit card and forced to bear the loss.

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