Press Release

For Immediate Release
July 8, 2009

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

Fraudsters Continue to Exploit Telecommunications Relay Services

Over the last few years, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has received thousands of complaints pertaining to scam artists using Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) to defraud U.S. businesses and consumers. Under Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act, all telephone companies must provide TRS for individuals with hearing or speech impairments.

A new twist involves several recent reports of perpetrators of these schemes exploiting auto repair shops by using TRS to request services for a vehicle. The fraudster claims the vehicle has to be shipped to the shop and requests the repairs and shipping fees be charged to a credit card. The charges initially go through without any complications, but unbeknownst to the business, the credit card is fraudulent or stolen. The business is then directed to wire the money to the shipper to cover the shipping costs. After the money is wired, the business is notified of the fraudulent credit card and forced to bear the loss.

An alert from IC3 about this type of exploit was released on February 9, 2004. View the alert in its entirety

The Internet Crime Complaint Center is a partnership between the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. If you have received a scam e-mail, please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at www.ic3.gov.

For more information on e-scams, please visit the FBI's New E-Scams and Warnings webpage at www.fbi.gov or www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com. To receive the latest information about cyber scams, please go to the FBI website and sign up for e-mail alerts by clicking on one of the red envelopes.

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