Operator Reports Fraudulent Rug-Cleaning Scheme

Ian P. Murphy |

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. — An unknown party or group is making calls to drycleaners claiming to have a large rug order in an attempt to defraud them of money.
John Dame, president of MyDoor Dry Cleaning and 24/7 Dry Cleaners, says that the perpetrators are using the telephone company’s TDD service — a teletype system used by the deaf to make calls — to maintain anonymity, relaying their requests through an unsuspecting live operator.
The transaction typically involves a large rug order, for which the caller pays a deposit using a stolen or lapsed credit card. They then request that the drycleaner send a cashier’s check for $1,500 to a fictitious shipper.
“They ask for $1,500 for shipping and tell you they can’t get the shipper a check themselves because they’re in the hospital or something,” says Dame, who has received two of the calls so far. “I continued to play along until they asked for money.”
Calls appear to originate in Pennsylvania, and the scheme likely represents a federal crime. Don’t be fooled — if your operation is targeted, make note of any information revealed such as phone numbers and addresses, and contact your local branch of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) immediately.
Click here to locate your FBI field office.

About the author

Ian P. Murphy

Freelance Writer

Ian P. Murphy is a freelance writer based in Chicago, and was the editor of American Drycleaner from 1999 to 2011.

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