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I want to warn you all about something and hope to pass it on –

 

On Monday 8/20 we got a call from Mike with Ring Around LLC who said he was in Pennsylvania and had a tractor/trailer stuck near Gallatin MO.  We did the winch out.  We called back into the office and faxed them the bill and they called back with a credit card and it went through.

 

On Wednesday 8/23 we got a call from a AAA representative in Pennsylvania who wanted to know why I was charging that amount to them.  I explained that we needed to compare credit card numbers as I was paid by Ring Around.  The card numbers matched.   I looked up Ring Around and they are located in Alabama.  I called Ring Around and they said they paid $50 less than what I actually charged.  Their credit card did not match the card I had at all. 

 

Mike actually works for a company called Millenium Truck Repair.  Ring Around looked up tow services near Gallatin MO in the yellow pages, saw MY ad and called MY number and ended up talking to Mike in Plainville, New York.  Mike pretended to be Ring Around and brokered the call to me.  I got paid with a stolen credit card belonging to corporate AAA in PA. 

Mike no longer answers any of the phone numbers listed on his site.  Ring Around is cancelling their credit card as of today because if they stole AAA’s then they could steal his.  AAA found 3 charges on their card and it is cancelled now.  Why they would have open ended credit cards is beyond me anyway but I will bet that changes as soon as possible. 

I think I will be asking for a photo copy of credit cards if they are paying over the phone. 

This is just an FYI;  Good luck and be safe out there. 

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Seems a similar scam with a new twist  is going around again. This generally stems from fake company websites. Other companies do searches in an area they are unfamiliar with and find this websites which have invested money to appear at the top of a google search. The websites are generally easy to recolonize.

 

As I go through the old membership roster I find several members that has joined in the past couple years and link to what appear to be fake websites. I have even caught a couple attempting to join the new message board. A legit tow company would likely not have a generic website with stock photos of tow trucks. Hard to believe any trucking company still takes the bait.

 

I would like to hear from others who have gotten scam calls and even found out after the service was provided. I would think the majority are going to be for service calls.

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my whole puzzlement comes from the Alabama company looking up tow services in Missouri thru the Yellow pages, gets MY phone number, calls it and gets the scammers in New York?  how do they do that?

 

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Someone must have more experience with this then I do. Hope they chime in...

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I don't know if this relates, but I get calls from companies wanting our service and the caller ID they call from shows our main line as the line they are calling from?  I smell a rat and point blank tell them to call back on a phone that is not showing as my line?  Don't know how this can happen, but I always compare incoming #s with what I am given as a callback.  If it don't match, I ask WTF in a nice way.  Don't satisfy me with the answer, they will pound sand.  I do this incoming line check mainly because of Google.  When they sales call me, I block their # as soon as I hang up.

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Most can spoof any number they want to make it appear local or ligit, which is what google does.

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Wow. I can't add to this particular scam but can comment on the generic looking websites. Ron, there are several companies that sell web packages to towers that are not tech savvy, they are basically the same website -images and all with their phone number and address pasted in. Kinda cheesy if you ask me, it is easy to build your own professional looking and unique website with services like GoDaddy.

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Brian, that is true, however there are cheesy company websites that when you do a web search for the company it cannot found. These companies are all answer by one call taker which into contacts a local tow company. They often misrepresent themselves as legit companies or brokers. In turn they charge the customers CC a much higher rate than yours. This is what brought 1-800-Tow-Truck down. That successful scheme soon became a scam for a fast dollar. Sad, cause it could have made many times the profit over the past decade. Tow Companies were devoted to them advertising the number on their trucks. I could have taken those profits sponsored a race car and narionally gotten a huge percentage of tows. But, It Was A Scam!

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Did you get the 3 #s on the back and the billing zip code? or just the card number and expiration date?

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We got a call this year from a man claiming to be from Road America.  He needed a quote to tow a pickup from one town to the next.  We gave him a quote and he said we were approved and could call back for a credit card number upon hookup.  In the mean time, Road America actually called to dispatch us for the same tow.  There was some confusion until I called the man back, then patched Road America into the call.  The man became very angry and hung up.  I gave Road America all his information and we completed the call. 

This got me curious.  So I googled the man's number.  It pulled up several car transportation businesses and tow truck companies scattered throughout the US.  Also there were some you tube videos.  So I watched a few.  In these videos, he explains how to become a "broker" for insurance companies and motor clubs.  All of course, has to be funneled through him and he will make you money!  All sounded like a scam to me!  Upon further googling, I discovered that if you google "tow truck" and the zip code you want to search, a number of web sites appear.  Some are your local companies, but others are not.  Some of these sites even offer zip code searches for tow trucks.  For example, there are two local towing companies in our area.  If you search our zip, it pulls up eighteen different companies, all within twenty miles.  Sure it lists the two actual companies, but the rest are all fake!  Guess what phone number is listed on these sites.  The man that said he was from Road America!!  As far as I can tell, this search site lists every zip code in our area and the US.  Everyone I searched, these fake companies showed up.  And some of the google searches, pull up these sites first before the local companies.  

Best I can figure is the motor clubs or whoever calls this man, he accepts the call, and then finds the best quote from a local company and has them complete the call.  He collects "x" amount from the caller and pays "y" amount to the local tow truck company.  It never occurred to me that he could be using stolen cards to pay "y".  Either way, it doesn't sound right.  The entire tow truck online search process is not right!

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