Mike Sammartino, who owns Bruno's, 'Taste of Italy, states, "They're tying up our employees, our time and our phone lines." These scammers have nearly cost his business five-hundred dollars in lasagna.
Mike's business has been the target of forty or more phone calls in the last two months that have had fraudulent intent.
On July 24th alone, his business was hit three times.
He went on to say, "I've been told there's nothing they can do. People need to know this is bad." The scam works in this way...
When a restaurant or business gets a call through a TTY service or Internet Protocol Relay service for the hearing and speech impaired, the caller is can use a device to type in a text conversation that is relayed to the other party through a communications assistant.
The scammers use a computer to simulate the TTY equipment, call a restaurant or business, place an order and provide a credit card number for payment.
Here's the glitch; the caller fabricates a reason for overpaying the business - either a courier service that must be paid in cash, or the scam artist puts in a follow up call requesting to cut their original order in half.
Then the scammer requests that the overcharge be returned or wired to the phony courier service; many times through Western Union. It could be picked up anywhere in the world." These ripoff artists are taking advantage of businesses that want to accommodate persons who are hearing impaired.
Michell Truax, Supervisor at Montana's Office of Consumer Protection stated, "The bottom line is, they want you to wire money. Randy Holbrook works for Heartland Payment Systems, which is a credit card processing company.He is familiar with these kinds of scams and knows Mike, the owner of the restaurant that has been scammed. One scammer ordered sandwiches for 200 people, to be delivered to a location on the other side of Billings." One scammer actually asked that Marcy wire seven-hundred dollars, the extra amount that was supposedly included in the credit card charge, to a New Jersey shipping company.Randy said, "It's really unfortunate, because people want to help other people." Even though these kinds of scams exist and warnings are circulating, business owners are working under the impression that they can't decline calls through either IP relay or TTY, and that they cannot hang up on such a caller. The scam callers couldn't care less about the food itself, they just want to see if the credit card works.Welcome to the Idaho Court Assistance Office & Self-Help Center!This website provides tools and information for people who want to represent themselves in court, or who are unable to afford an attorney and would otherwise be unable to get their day in court.The materials and assistance you receive on this web site or in your local Court Assistance Office are no substitute for talking with a lawyer. Consequently, keep in mind, even if you follow the instructions provided and use our forms you are not guaranteed to win your case.