Crimetracker - Small Business Scam

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Better Business Bureau is warning small business owners about a new crime that's hitting the Wichita area. In this latest scam, someone pretending to be disabled is trying to trick those businesses out of their money.

It was just a regular day for Kari Maddox at C&C Automotive in south Wichita when she received a call from a man who claimed he needed some work done on his car. She didn't talk to the man directly because he placed a relay call - a system that uses a operator who speaks for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

"The catch on this one was the vehicle was being shipped in from California and we would have to give them a money order because they don't accept credit cards," said Maddox.

That sent up a red flag for Maddox, but she played along. The caller said he was in the hospital and he wanted to continue his business through cell phone texts.

Officials with the Better Business Bureau of Wichita the scam is nothing new, but this is the first they've heard of it in Wichita. They say the thieves who run this scam are usually from out of the country and target small auto shops. The caller asks for a company to wire thousands of dollars to what they claim is towing business.

Luckily, Maddox checked it out before wiring the supposed towing company the $2700 dollars the caller requested. She then let the caller know he was caught.

The Better Business Bureau says if you get a call like this, make sure you get a name address, credit card number and the three-digit security code on the back of the card from the caller. If the credit card is stolen, the caller probably won't have that security code.

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