recently reported on a Florida restaurant owner's run in with an advance fee scam that targets food businesses. The owner, Steve, actually received three phone calls from 'prospective customers'- a deaf group utilizing a relay service to place a catering order for about 100 people. When the relay service requested to pay for the food plus charge the party planner almost $1,000 -all weeks before the order was due- Steve knew something was up.
"In the past few weeks I have received 3 different calls, purporting to be from TDD operators. I had never received a call from a TDD operator, so I'm not sure if the operators were real, or part of the scam. It starts out with the deaf person, wanting to plan a party for about a 100 people, and they would like to use my food. They will send the professional party planner to pick up the food. (party is 3 weeks out) But they want to pay for it now with a credit card.
If you go along, they ask for a fax number, because they don't want the operator to have there credit card number. They then fax you the pertinent information, and tell you to go ahead and charge the complete amount right now. Oh, and by the way, can you add $956.78 to pay the party planner. This is when I hung up, but I can imagine them getting paid from a lot of businesses. I'm sure after the planner gets paid, there will be a chargeback."
The Consumerist points out that it's most likely a stolen credit card instead of a chargeback, but either way someone's getting ripped off so always be aware of scams like this.
Source: The Consumerist