GREENSBORO, N.C. — The FBI is warning of a scheme that spans at least eight states (Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky), maybe more, and the FBI says someone you know could be part of it and they may not even know it.
It starts with a scammer and a stolen credit card.
The person whose card is compromised is victim #1.
The scammer calls a local business and makes a really large order over the phone, using the stolen credit card. The FBI says this has been happening to furniture, tire, and appliance stores. For example, instead of one set of tires, the scammer is ordering four or six. The local business is victim #2.
“The business doesn’t know it until several days later when the credit card company flags it as a stolen card and number. By then the items have been picked up and the items are being moved to other states and then sold,” said Shelley Lynch, FBI Public Affairs Specialist.
After the order is made and plans are made to pick the items up, the FBI says the scammer uses job boards to hire someone to pick up the goods and go.
Unsuspecting people looking for a side gig are doing the dirty work.
“We need you to go to rent a box truck and pick up this load or in some cases, we've had people using their own personal vehicles and they're getting paid through a third-party cash app so it seems like it's easy money,” said Lynch.
These "workers" are now part of the scheme and really, they're victim #3.
The FBI is warning business owners to beware of large orders over the phone. Make sure you get a copy of a driver’s license that matches the credit card.