And So Begins My New Life

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Location: Southeast, United States

I'm a Funeral Services graduate embarking on a new career. I graduated high school in 1981, served honorably in the United States Navy from 1982-1986, been married since 1986, and have one son. I've relocated to a new state and have begun working in my chosen profession of Funeral Services, and I've never been happier.

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Monday, June 08, 2009

When Scammers Call

Today, just before closing, we had someone trying to scam us. I'm not sure how these things work, but recently funeral homes have become a popular target. The intended victim will get an email, or a phone call, or, as in my case, a relay call. A relay call is when someone who is hearing impaired calls a relay center, who in turn calls the place of business, then relays messages from you to the other person, who is communicating via a TTY device.

Anyway, the person called and the story went something like this: He lives in our town, and is on a trip to Canada. He gets word while he's away that his wife has died in Nigeria. Can we have her shipped over and do we take credit cards? He then offers to give us the name and number of the mortuary in Nigeria, and will pay via credit card. As best I can tell from searching the internet, the funeral home pays out the money to the "mortuary" which is usually a dummy corporation or a confederate posing as a funeral director. When the credit card is billed, it's either stolen or invalid, or at some point the person will change their mind and ask for a refund via wire transfer or some such.

I put the operator on hold, called the owner and explained the situation. He told me it was a scam and to get rid of the caller. At one point, the relay operator's supervisor broke in and explained that they had noticed an increase of inappropriate usage of the relay service. In other words, the scammers were using the relay service to excess. So I instructed the relay operator to tell the caller we could not help. Not two minutes later we get the exact same call from the exact same person. I told them we just had the exact same call, and to terminate the conversation.

1 Comments:

Blogger livingdedgrl said...

just had the same thing happen to me the other day! it is the first i have heard of it. then i ran across your posting! it was the same way, a relay call and someone from Nigeria! we told the operator that we would not be continuing the call that it is a scam!

12:31 PM  

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