Public Service Announcement

Prepared by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

July 7, 2009
FBI Logo

Fraudsters Continue to Exploit Telecommunication Relay Services

The IC3 continues to receive complaints pertaining to scam artists abusing Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) to defraud U.S. businesses and consumers. Under Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), all telephone companies must provide TRS for individuals with hearing impairments or speech impairments.

This IC3 alert is to make the public aware of the continuing abuse of TRS to exploit U.S. businesses. Recent reports indicate scam artists are using TRS to exploit auto repair shops. The scam entails the fraudster using TRS to request services for a vehicle. The fraudster claims the vehicle has to be shipped to the auto repair business and requests the repairs and shipping fees be charged to a credit card. Unbeknownst to the business, the credit card is fraudulent or stolen; however, the charges initially go through without any complications. The business is then directed to wire the money to the shipper to cover the shipping costs. It is not until the shipper's money is wired that the business is notified of the fraudulent credit card; therefore, the business bears the loss.

A previous PSA titled “NOTORIOUS "RESHIPPER SCAM" TRANSFORMS” was released on Feb. 9, 2004, covering this exploit. To view the PSA in its entirety, please visit the following link, http://www.ic3.gov/media/2004/040209.aspx.

Individuals who receive a communication, such as the one described above, are encouraged to file a complaint at www.IC3.gov reporting the incident.