Relay Phone Call Scam

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jay Taylor, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. Jay Taylor

    Jay Taylor Supporting Actor

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    Today for the third time in a year I received an attempted scam from someone using a relay phone call. We own two natural health shops and the person wanted to order Golden Seal. We previously received a similar attempt from someone wanting 100 bottles of vitamin E.

    Here’s how it works:

    An AT&T operator calls the storeowner and tells him that he has a relay call. A relay call is normally from someone that is hearing-impaired. The caller will type questions into his terminal and the AT&T operator will read the question to the storeowner. Then the storeowner responds and the operator types in the response and sends it to the caller’s terminal.

    The caller identified himself as James Fred and he wanted to order 100 bottles of Vitamin E, put it on his credit card, and have it shipped Global Express to him (which turned out to be in Nigeria).

    Had we processed the credit card it would have been approved and settled just fine. This may make some storeowners think that it’s okay to ship the products to the customer.

    After a week or two the storeowner would receive notification that the credit card was stolen, invalid or whatever. The money would be removed from the storeowner’s account.

    When I received the relay call today I asked the operator if she knew where the call originated. She asked the caller and he responded Legos, Nigeria. I then explained to the operator what the caller was trying to do, that I didn’t need to hear the rest of his scam, and politely told her that I was hanging up. She understood and said “Okay”.

    One of my friends lost thousands of dollars to similar scams.
     
  2. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    is there anything unique to nigeria that makes them the origin of so many scams?

    CJ
     
  3. Jay Taylor

    Jay Taylor Supporting Actor

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    I’ve wondered the same thing CJ.

    There are dozens of third-world countries with extensive poverty like Nigeria. There are dozens of countries on the other side of the globe that make it very difficult to pursue criminals. There are dozens of countries with crappy law enforcement. Maybe it’s the combination of these and other factors.

    Do most impoverished countries have cyber-cafés so readily available as in Nigeria?
     

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