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Scams alert

November 23, 2010

• Two dealers in eastern Iowa reported that a customer who issued a business check to purchase vehicles instructed the dealerships to "hold" the checks until certified funds could be obtained. Those funds never came, and the business checks were drawn on a closed account.

By the time the vehicles were recovered, they had been driven hundreds of miles, according to an alert by the Iowa Automobile Dealers Association

• The Michigan Automobile Dealers Association has issued an alert about a credit card scam involving parts shipments out of the country.

A call placed from out of the country is connected to the dealership through a TDY operator. The caller orders parts for overnight delivery-to Nigeria, in recent instances-and pays with a credit card. Initial verification shows the card and number to be valid, and the order goes through.

Dealers learn later, upon making a Code 10 authorization check or when contacted later by the banking institution, that the caller was not authorized to use the credit card number provided.

In at least one case, the caller made repeated calls to place another order, again paying by credit card. When the initial card number was declined, the caller provided several additional credit card numbers, which also were declined.

If you suspect fraud, call your voice authorization center with a Code 10 authorization request and follow the operator's instructions.