Friday, May 28, 2010

TTY scam: Yorkies for Sale

Or perhaps it's English bulldogs, or terriers to give away. Sound familiar? It should: it's exactly the same scam as that run by those arseholes sending e-mails requesting ad placement. Same phrasing, and a curiously insistent person wanting to know when, exactly, the credit card will be run, and can it be run today, right now, in fact? I received one of these calls a couple of weeks ago, and it was so suspicious that the only thing I could think of was that the person on the TTY machine (also known as a TDD) had stolen somebody else's card. They gave me a name and residence address (Juneau, and I looked it up on Google--it appeared to be a local church). Took 45 minutes to get exactly nowhere.

Then Leah got another call yesterday. What a waste of time!

The scam may not be in the ad placement, but in the dog end (so to speak). Free or cheap dogs, but shipping that costs a lot and somehow the dogs never arrive.

I get requests for ads all the time, usually by e-mail, that reveal that the person placing them has no real interest in the periodical in which they are to be placed and no conception of English grammar. There are often mistakes in spelling and grammar, but not the kind a native speaker of English would make. They also clearly know nothing of the periodical they have contacted (for example, how often the Republic comes out!) The same is true of this new TTY version of the scam.

I'm not sure if it's a hearing shyster taking advantage of the TTY phone, a deaf shyster abusing a TTY phone, or a person posing as a TTY operator but who is in fact a scam artist. No matter the case, newspapers and magazines should watch out.

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