7 On Your Side:Hearing Impaired Line Scam - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

2/5/07-Gilmer

7 On Your Side:Hearing Impaired Line Scam

Anna Hays sells jewelry and purses inside her Gilmer boutique.  At one time she had a website for customers to make their purchases.

"I've never had any trouble," she says.

Then a call came from a customer using the Telecommunications Relay Service.  Through an operator, Anna learned the man wanted to buy more than $500 worth of jewelry.

"You think oh my goodness, this poor deaf man.  He's wanting to send these children jewelry and he said they were his children," Anna recalls.

He requested the order be sent to Nigeria. Then the first credit card he gave her decline, so he gave her another one.

When she requested his address to send him a receipt, he refused. That's when she says the TSR operator stepped in.

"She said,'Ma'am this man has no idea what I'm about to tell you. I go through this everyday, they're always shipping stuff to Nigeria and it's always fraud'," says Anna.

Fraud...through the hearing impaired line. The operator explained to Anna scammers can get away with it because it cannot be traced.

Anna called the police and let this con-artist know she was on to him.

"He was like,'How'd you find me out.' And I said,'What do you mean? It doesn't matter.' He said,'well I have the jewelry right here and it's beautiful'," says Anna.

That too was a lie, because Anna was able to stop shipment on the package which cost her $112.

Anna says, "I really didn't need to do that. But there was no way I was going to let this man get his hands on it."

Fortunately for Anna the scam was unsuccessful. Whichever end of the transaction you're on it's both buyer and seller beware.

Anna says since this incident she will no longer accept credit card transactions over the phone.

We also brought this to the attention of the FBI in Tyler. Officials there say, they've seen scammer take advantage of the hearing impaired line before.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

 

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