Tuesday, January 31, 2012

International wire fraud strikes across oceans

Boardman, Ohio – Manager Sean Dunham stopped the transaction immediately when he saw the amount of $500, an unusually high dollar catering order for his operation.

Quaker Steak & Lube – home of the “Lubies” - has numerous locations in the Cleveland area and elsewhere in the nation specializing in hot wings, onion rings and snacks to go for sports fanatics, as well as eat-in entrees.

Five hundred dollars will buy a lot of those kind of goodies for the Super Bowl, an order turned in well in advance.

But it wasn't just the amount that aroused the restaurant manager's suspicions; it was the nature of the transaction itself.

A Western Union service for hearing-impaired customers contacted the Quaker Steak restaurant with the order. From there, the telegraph company fed the order to the restaurant's on-line service through a teletype hook-up.

The fraudulent customer used the Visa debit card number of a Texas Bank of America customer, a person far remote from both the restaurant and the origin of the order.

To further complicate matters, the transaction appeared to have originated in Nigeria, something that made Mr. Dunham's mind immediately.

No deal. No way. No how.

He turned the matter over to local police, who have reported back that the fraud is untraceable.

They cautioned banking customers worldwide to never give out their debit card information to anyone they don't know and trust.

International wire fraud is rampant.

- The Legendary

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