BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – The FBI is investigating a multi-state scheme that targets businesses in the South, including Alabama.
Thieves allegedly use stolen credit card numbers to make large purchases over the phone. The FBI says so far more than 100 companies have been targeted.
Businesses include tire shops, lumber companies, furniture stores, and others. Investigators say that once a purchase has been made over the phone, the items are then picked up by drivers and taken to other states to be resold. In many cases, drivers were unaware that the items had been purchased illegally. Days later, the FBI says the targeted companies learned of the fraudulent sales.
The Better Business Bureau says businesses need to keep tabs on major purchases.
“Just because you’re in business doesn’t mean you can’t be a victim. These scams can happen to anyone. They can happen to consumers. They can get to a business, so you always have to be on your toes, keep your eyes peeled,” said Alex Derencz of the Central and South Alabama BBB.
The FBI office in Charlotte, North Carolina is working with multiple law enforcement agencies to determine who is behind this scheme. Companies with similar unsolved crimes should call the FBI Charlotte at 704-672-6100 or tips.fbi.gov. Law enforcement investigating similar crimes should contact their local FBI office or agents in their area directly.
You can find out more about the scheme here.
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