Watch for Elaborate Over the Phone Debit Card Authorization Scam
A Central Texas Dealer was recently the victim of an elaborate scam that resulted in the theft of two vehicles worth over $30,000.
A Central Texas Dealer was recently the victim of an elaborate scam that resulted in the theft of two vehicles worth over $30,000. Here's how the scam works: the customer states that the money is available in their account, but that the transaction will not go through due to the amount. Such transactions frequently result in a "forced sales transaction" that requires an authorization from the bank. In the most recent scam, the customer pretended to be on a call with Wells Fargo Bank, but was actually on the phone with an accomplice. The customer then hands the telephone to the dealership salesperson to discuss the pending transfer. The accomplice in this situation was sophisticated enough to understand financial terminology and gave a false offline approval code. The criminals presented both a driver's license with a matching Wells Fargo credit / debit card. It is unclear at this time if these documents were real or fake. The dealer immediately contacted police who stated that this transaction required a 10 day demand letter and that this is a civil matter. The FBI may believe otherwise..
Please review your payment procedures as these scammers may be operating in your area as we speak. Remember that you and your staff should ALWAYS call the bank or financial institution directly from your office. Do NOT let customers hand you a phone with their “bank” on the phone.
It is unclear what the endgame is for the thieves as the dealer will not be transferring title anytime soon.