TTY Scams

How the scam works:

TTY stands for Teletypewriter and is a phone service intended to allow the hearing-impaired to communicate via telephone, relying on an operator who relays a typed message from the caller to the business.

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By law, the operator is not allowed to disclose the origin of the call. Unfortunately, TTY scams are endless as well. Basically, all the scams that are listed under the Internet menu of our app could be pulled by TTY.

If you are an owner of a business, you are a potential victim. Just a quick example: you own an auto shop. The scammer calls you by TTY and says they heard only good things about your shop, maybe even that you are very good at fixing transmission systems. You like what you hear and ask them how you can help. They says they will have their expensive but broken car shipped to your shop and need you to fix its transmission system.

A few days later, they call back saying that the shipping company wouldn’t accept their credit card and offers to send you a check of, say $2,000, from which you could keep $500 as down payment and $1,500 to pay the shipper yourself.

How to avoid:

Just as in many other scams, any check you receive with an over-payment is a scam. When it comes to TTY, ask for the person’s full name, address, telephone number, the name of the issuing bank and its toll-free customer service number as printed on the back of all credit cards. Also, don’t be afraid to say you’ll call them back after checking with the bank. If they triy to change your mind, just hang up.

How to report:

Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using the link below:

Report To The FTC Here


How to protect yourself more:

If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.


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selma hrynchuk
Selma HrynchukSelma is a fraud prevention specialist renowned for her expertise in private eye investigations and a remarkable partnership with law enforcement agencies. Beyond her investigative triumphs, her public speaking engagements and written works have empowered countless individuals to protect themselves and stay ahead of deceptive schemes. Selma's legacy shines as a tenacious agent of change, unyielding in her commitment to battling fraud and ensuring a safer world for all.

2 thoughts on “TTY Scams”

  1. I work in a pharmacy, and received a phone call over the TYY system from a person wishing to pay cash for a large amount of diabetic test strips. They faxed over what they wanted and changed from wanting to pay cash, to wanting to use a credit card for there husbands missionary work. I assume the credit card is stolen and then they would ask me to mail them the strips, then sell them on the black market.

  2. This is happening in central,ca. The sad thing is, our small business took the credit card because we knew the person supplying it. Now our business has been 1099 the same amount. Contacted local police, FBI, no one will help. I just found out that this issue is being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission. We will contact them next. In my opinion, I would not accept any phone orders from TTY until this calms down. I read the check list on the FTC site on how NOT to get scammed, and we checked off every item. We did everything right and still got scammed. Another hit to small business!

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