Telephone credit card scam targets business owners

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The Better Business Bureau says a new telephone-based scam abusing disability services is targeting many small businesses, including restaurants and other business types.

In the scam, a business owner receives a call through the Telecommunications Relay Service asking for an extremely large delivery order. After placing the order the scammer asks if they can overpay, and have the difference sent to them. Afterwards, the credit card number is found to be stolen, leaving the company short whatever money they sent.

The TRS system was designed to assist people who have hearing or speech problems. The system allows users to type what they would like to say, and a communications assistant will relay that along, and type back the response to the user. By using TRS to make the fraudulent calls, business owners never see or hear the scammer in person.

Two Minnesota restaurants have already reported the scam to the BBB, which says any type of business could be vulnerable to it.

The BBB says that to help avoid any problems, business owners should inform their employees about the scam, never wire money to unfamiliar people or businesses and make sure they have policies in place to prevent fraud.