Latest Phone Scam Troubles Industry
January 6, 2010

A new possible scam is plaguing auto glass shops throughout the United States. In the latest effort, the caller uses the unfortunately popular system of calling the glass shop through a TDD interface system designed for the deaf and requests both a windshield and backlite replacement on a vehicle. Though the vehicle likely varies, glassBYTEs.com™/AGRR magazine has heard one report of the caller requesting services for a 2007 Cadillac Escalade ESV.

The call might take upwards of 35 to 40 minutes due to the use of the TDD system, and, at the end of the call, the caller asks the customer service representative for one last "favor"-to charge the person's credit card for an extra $1,500 to pay the tow company to bring the car to the shop.

"When I said that we couldn't do it, they abruptly hung up," advised the customer service representative who reported the scheme.

Though this particular scheme was ended fortunately before it got underway, often such scams continue with the caller requesting that the glass shop then pay the tow company-or whatever method used-via wire transfer or some other direct method. The charges on the card are eventually rejected, and the glass company loses the money paid to the alleged, non-existent tow company.

According to Fraud.org, the National Consumers' League (NCL) fraud center, which gathers information on possible scams, there are several steps businesses can take to lessen their chances of becoming the victims of fraudulent orders:

  • Do businesses with companies you know and trust. If a company you haven't dealt with before contacts you with an order that seems fraudulent, research the company to see if it is legitimate;
  • Understand what is being offered. "Get all details and promises in writing," writes the NCL;
  • Check the bills and invoices carefully. "It's hard to get your money back once you've paid it to a con artist," warns the group;
  • Keep your company's financial information confidential-and don't provide it to anyone unless you're certain it's a legitimate and necessary transaction; and
  • Educate your employees and make sure they are weary of such tactics.

CLICK HERE for more information about scams against businesses from the NCL.

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