Dealers Beware: Scammers are Taking on the Film Industry

February 18th, 2010 | Category: Featured Content

It’s a sad, but true fact, scammers will take on just about anyone, anywhere in any industry. Over the past few years many glass shops have learned to spot signs of these callers as companies all over the country have fallen victim to different phone scams. In fact, just last summer two glass shops in Louisiana lost more than $1,000 as a result of scammers, requesting credit card information via e-mail, claimed to be calling for a deaf mute (CLICK HERE for related article). Now, a similar situation has emerged within the film industry.

Terri Fair, general manager of Sagr Products in Gettysburg, Pa., says she received a call this week from someone claiming to be an AT&T operator calling for a deaf person. However, just hours prior to the call she learned of the scam through one of her dealers who had received three calls previously.

“[The caller] says she is speaking for a deaf person whose vehicle was in an accident and is at the body shop for repairs—repairs that include the re-tinting of windows that were shattered in the accident,” says Fair. “The caller indicates that payment has to be made to the body shop before the tinting can be scheduled then asks the tinter to pre-charge a personal credit card and have the money (check or cash) in the charged amount, ready for pick up to be delivered to the body shop, but the vehicle never shows up for tinting and a month later the charges are declined as they are using stolen credit cards.”

While this may be a new occurrence in the film industry, it’s something that many dealers are already seeing.

“Some are telling us they get one call a month and others say they get as many as five a day,” says Fair, explaining that when she received the call she was prepared.

“I answered her questions at first, to get her to trust me, and then I challenged her,” says Fair. “I asked her if she was really an AT&T operator and she said yes. So then I told her that the people she was working with on the other end were scammers and then she hung up on me.”

So what should film companies do if faced with a similar situation? Fair says the best bet is to always deal with the customer directly and never take the credit card information over the phone or wire money to anyone, anywhere.

“Deal directly with the vehicle owner and be on the defensive,” she advises.

5 comments
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  1. We had a similar experience.Only they wanted to purchase an extremely large amount of 11,000.00 worth.
    Gave us there card information then proceeded to insist on there freight company to ship .The card cleared but we new something was fishy. Reported this to our bank and indeed this was fraud.We would have lost out on material as well as 3,000.00 for the freight company had we given our information.They used a deaf person with a real ATT operator.It is scarey.Only talk with a real person
    Michele

  2. I don’t understand this part;

    “The caller indicates that payment has to be made to the body shop before the tinting can be scheduled then asks the tinter to pre-charge a personal credit card and have the money (check or cash) in the charged amount, ready for pick up to be delivered to the body shop, but the vehicle never shows up for tinting and a month later the charges are declined as they are using stolen credit cards.”

    It sounds like the tinter is paying for the the tint job. ” payment has to be made to the body shop”

    can you explain?

  3. Our automotive tint shop got two phone calls only hours apart this past week. TTY caller said they were a North Carolina dealership with 8 vehicles transferring to Maryland. Requested full tint for large SUVs, pay by credit card an extra amount and difference to be wired back to dealership. I told caller to “take a hike”. When caller asked what that meant, I deduced that no red-blooded American would question what that means…. so then I told him to “buzz off” and hung up. Hee hee.

  4. In response to Mark,

    That was just an example of the many different types of stories that are being used, if the tint shop charges a fraudlent credit card then mails or gives the cash to a bogus body shop then later when the card charges are reversed to the merchant (tint shop) is out the money. The idea here is to just stay on your toes and beware of any unusual requests small or large in volume.

  5. Have had same call several times a year for the last three years. Always use the TTY caller wanting several SUVs Tinted but needs them shipped wanted us to charge their card for ship charge and deposit for film then wire money for ship to their shipper.we now take the calls and if not busy we play with them now an give them the run around for as long as we can to waste their time as they have waisted ours time and time again!

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