A local business in Odessa is just one of the thousands on the receiving end of a TTY scam. TTY is a telephone relay service, it's meant to help those who are hearing impaired communicate by the phone. However, scammers are using this service to steal from businesses.
Basically, a scam artist will use the TTY service and call up a business, use a stolen credit card and order a bunch of stuff or a service. After filing the order, the business will be notified that the credit card transaction has been disputed. Which means, the business won't be reimbursed and they will lose all the money from the cost of the service or items ordered. Here are ways the BBB says you can protect your business from this scam:
• If the customer is using a TTY relay operator, ask the customer for his/her full name, address and telephone number.
• Ask the customer to provide the name of the issuing bank and its toll-free customer service number as printed on the back of all credit cards.
• Ask for the three or four digit card verification code found near the account number on the back or front of a credit card. If the card number is stolen, this number will be unknown.
• Tell the customer you will check with the bank and call them back. When you do that, keep good notes. Verify all information the customer provides. If a customer objects, explain that these procedures are for their protection as well as yours.
• If the customer still objects to providing any of the above information, abandon the conversation and tell him you are not prepared to do business this way.