Home > Article from newspaper > Victim contacted by TTY caller pretending to be deaf

Victim contacted by TTY caller pretending to be deaf

May 1, 2007

DENVER (KWGN) – They scan newspaper and online ads, looking for their next victim. And when they find them they act fast, with a scam that’s growing in popularity.

We’ve heard this story before: you’re selling something on the internet, and someone offers you a lot more than the asking price–all you have to do is wire them them the difference. Only this time, there’s a real twist.

Suzann Bacon was offering purebred German Shorthaired Pointer puppies for 500 bucks each in online want ads.

She got a TTY, or hearing impaired, phone response from a buyer.

Bacon said, “I thought this was a deaf person calling me and I read on the internet that these kinds of dogs are really good for deaf people because they are smart puppies, dogs so I thought ‘yeah!’ ”

Soon she recieved not one but three money order checks from London for $750 each and a complicated email explanation about why she needed to wire the buyer the difference.

“I would have sent them the additional money, I mean, this is a deaf person. I mean, I really did not think that this was a scam,” Bacon said.

But because she’s worked for the BBB, and not wanting her dogs to go to the wrong people, she did a little checking on the money orders before cashing them.

“And they told me that they don’t issue money orders from London, and as a matter of fact, they don’t issue money orders from overseas at all, ” Bacon said.

“And she said that these were not valid money orders–they were fraudulent, ” even though they look 100 percent real right down to the serial numbers.

She continued to correspond with the buyer to see what else they’d do.

“I’m absolutely sure this is not a disabled person,” she said, “They’re using this as part of their scheme to rip people off. ”

She filed a report with the FBI’s internet crime complaint center.

“I’m really concerned now that this is happening with everyone. ”

But with her dogs still up for sale, she wants to warn others about this new twist: using sympathy for the disabled to con people.

“It just seems like they do whatever they can to take peoples money and I’m angry about that,” she added.

And angry about what might have happened to one of her puppies if she hadn’t spotted the scam.

So the real lesson here is: no matter what you’re selling on the internet, be it puppies or anything else, is remember there’s someone out there just waiting to make you their next target.

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  1. Maximilian
    May 2, 2007 at 1:28 am

    What an awful abuse. What’s next? Using TTY to prank call the Home Shopping Network?

  2. May 2, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    That is terrible. I would not do that.

  3. alice
    January 17, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    This recently happened to me. In WY. I had a feeling it was fishy from the start, so I called the Newspaper (that I had posted the ad in), the police, and the sheriff. None of them had heard about it; even the Sheriff told me it sounded legitimate and to go ahead with it. I finally fwd the email transactions to my father who is a scam hawk and the same thing happened to him in a small town (pop. 24) in Idaho while he was trying to sell a saddle.

    It truly is a shame that people take advantage of others like this.

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