TTY got me today! (Scam)

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birdwatcher's picture
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02/22/2009

Just got done with breakfast this morning and got laundry upstairs getting ready to do the rooms before we headed out for an outing-actually get to do something no check ins today. He was in the office talking on the phone to someone how I suppose is either blind or hearing impaired cause he was silent and told me that it was a TTY call. So after a couple minutes he puts me on the phone cause "i can type faster" to take the reservation. So here I am-talking and waiting and taking the info-thought that it would be an 8 day cause hubbie already told her how much-so I get all the info-you know the usual, name, address, e-mail when we get to the phone number there is a pause-HUH I wait, the operator waits and then relays to me in so many words while its been already 45 minutes with waiting in between.

The thing this person which was a woman at the end was that because of her "disability" wanted to send the lugage ahead of her-of course i said sure we will be here to receive the lugage from the "carrrier" (this is when I started to get suspecious) no problem with that. So as I wait for the answer as to when, i know what is coming something stupid right-well the operator said: "as a new guest to the area I would have to have you charge MY credit card and then send $700 cash via wire to the carrier so that the lugage can get there"

I didn't have to think about it the ansewer is NO! but we go on with this please and so on so DH said to tell them that we cannot make that decision and that its up to the owner-thought this would get this person to hang up-OH NO as the operator waits I get the ID # of this operator so that maybe i can track this later. So I wait, by this time im tired of waiting so i tell the operator to tell this person that I am not calling the owner while she was on the phone and that i can e-mail her the answer-this was not enough.

Finally DH said-JUST HANG UP! and so he hung it up. THIS REALLY PISSED US OFF, i could not believe a disability as a scam-but i should not have been surprised cause there was no call back, it makes me want to call AT&T and complain. What a crock of crap and waste of time, i should have hung up after i heard the $700 cash back -so if you do get a call like this and its a VERY DISABLED person on the other side-that HAD SURGERY on THEIR EARS and the doctor told her that she could not use her ears-damn I though i had better sense-stupid me!

Thanks for letting me vent-but it really made me mad.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Another one today. However, this time the operator warned me that the phone call could be a scam and I should be careful. THAT surprised me. I guess the operators are getting tired of being in the middle of this and an unwilling party to theft.

The caller wanted my full name and my relationship to the business and would only speak with a manager or an owner. I told the operator that was the hallmark of a scammer- get someone's name who they can claim authorized all kinds of expenditures.

My belief is the calls are originating from overseas or are being placed by non-native callers given they terminology they use in requesting a room.

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Tom
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Madeleine wrote:

 However, this time the operator warned me that the phone call could be a scam and I should be careful. THAT surprised me. I guess the operators are getting tired of being in the middle of this and an unwilling party to theft.

I posted on this last spring (www.innspiring.com/node/8940), and just checking around found an older post on a scam info site:

"And remember the relay operator has signed a serious confidentiality agreement and cannot engage in conversation with you. He/she is acting as a human telephone wire. If you suspect fraud or scam simply hang up. You are free to do that without asking, as you would with any other phone call. Keep in mind though that the person is also welcome to call back as often as he/she wishes. If this happens ask the relay operator for their customer service number. Enough complaints about this scam may make the big three take some steps to curtail it. Become familiar with Internet based Relay Service now so you are prepared if you receive a Relay call."

Probably best is to say you accept email inquiries only and offer your email address and otherwise end the call.

 

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Most of them have done just that- merely relayed what I said to the caller and have not said anything else to me. But, lately, when I have said, 'This is a scam,' the operator has relayed that info to the caller and then said to me, 'This happens a lot.' I think it's wearing on them. They've wasted 45 minutes of my time and have tied up the line from a legitimate caller. Although, I've gotten it down to about 5 minutes now because I tell the operator the caller call look online, I'm not at the computer to check dates.

So, you're saying I should ask the operator for their operator ID so I can file a complaint and then the company talks with the operator for the details? That's excellent advice.

Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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01/16/2010

Got two of those calls last weekend here. They were making the rounds again in the Southern PA area. My caller ID said that the TTY call was from Georgia. A lady was calling. The usual scenario. I do feel sorry for anyone who is legitimately trying to use this system to make arrangements for travel. You're right, though, that in this day of e-mail and internet and online reservations, there's really no reason for someone to have to call you.

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Thing is you never really know who is calling, where they are calling from or anything about them because the person originating the call can type in anything they want including fake names, addresses, phone numbers, stolen cc info, etc.

The ear surgery one has been making the rounds now for a long time.

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10/07/2008

You can't believe using a disability as a scam? here's one...

 

Police: Pa. man fakes mom's obit to get time off 
BROOKVILLE, Pa. (AP) - Authorities in northwestern Pennsylvania say a man published an obituary for his living mother in a ploy to get paid bereavement time off from work. Relatives called The Jeffersonian Democrat newspaper in Brookville after the obit appeared to report the woman was actually...

 

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Joey Camb's picture
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We have only had one and it was a genuine person who my DH who is not fit to be let out answered and hung up on 3 times as he didn't understand what it was. The person didn't book but frankly I didn't blame them!!!

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

When you get a TTY call simply answer "please make your reservation online on our reservation system. We do not accept telephone reservations, ever!"

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

We had the exact same call a few months ago. What's awful about this (besides wasting our time) is that the operators deal with this all day long and they know it's a scam but they are required to go through all the info because it's their job.

I've told the operators the call is a scam, which they then relay to the caller so the caller hangs up.

There is no reason why anyone needs to use TTY when we've all got online reservations and email.

BTW, if you got as far as getting all the details, was the call supposedly from Hartford, CT?

 

birdwatcher's picture
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02/22/2009

it was waterberry CT-i don't even know if it was real.

Madeleine's picture
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birdwatcher wrote:

it was waterberry CT-i don't even know if it was real.

Not real at all. (I mean Waterbury is real, the caller was a total fake.) Don't worry anymore about it.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

Don't even waste your time with ANY TTY calls!!! When I get one, I tell the operator that I will not accept the call, then I hang up.

In this day and age, there is no reason why a hearing disabled person wouldn't either send an e-mail if they have questions or do an online reservation. I have had many hearing disabled guests over the years and NONE of them have used the TTY operator. It's an outdated mode of communication in our business.

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Seems like somebody came up with a solution for these calls, but I can't remember what it was. Something you say, or ask them, that gets you out of it? Maybe I dreamed it.

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Proud Texan's picture
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Arkansawyer wrote:

Seems like somebody came up with a solution for these calls, but I can't remember what it was. Something you say, or ask them, that gets you out of it? Maybe I dreamed it.

It's called online reservations.   

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