Warning to all Shop Owners out There!
This weekend I was spending my Saturday catching up on paperwork and quotes with Chaddy in the office when the phone rang. The Caller ID just read "New York, NY". Chad immediately thought it was The Food Network calling. What for? Who knows what goes through his head - LOL!!
Well, it certainly wasn't Kerry Vincent or Alton Brown, it was a TTY relay operator that deaf people use to communicate via the phone. The caller wanted to order 300 cupcakes. I'm pretty booked up this season, so I was not available the date they wanted. So they picked another date, and another date and another. The dates ranged from October 29th to December 9th! My Spidey Senses were already going off so I asked for a name, phone number and e-mail address. The only info I was given was the name - Kofo Jones and an e-mail address - firstname.lastname@example.org. Kofo!!! Say Whaaaa?!? Now, every alarm in my head is going off! So I say that I need a credit card to secure the order; by the way did I mention that the order was for 100 green, yellow, and pink cupcakes? That's the most I could get from them regarding the order. Then they told me that they would wire me $700 via Western Union and I could just send back the change. GAME OVER! I told them that I felt this was a scam and I was refusing to do business with them and they hung up.
I had no idea that people had been abusing these TTY lines, but a quick Google search confirmed that people have been doing this phone scam for years! And FYI, in some instances they will gladly give you a (stolen) credit card number or a (fake) certified check.
The Better Business Bureau offers some tips on their site on what to look for and best practices for doing business with someone using TTY relay lines. Stay safe and protect yourself, your business, and your money!
And if there is a real Kofo Jones out there... no offense! I sure couldn't find you on Google!
UPDATE: Not an hour after I finished writing this post, I got a friendly call from eBay. Seems someone hijacked my eBay account and bid on a bunch of cameras and computers. Guess where it was all going? Yep, Nigeria! They straightened it out pretty quickly, but still! I guess it's just Scamtastic Saturday around here! Pretty please, just for me, go right now and change all your important passwords!