FBI warns businesses in Georgia, other Southern states of fraud scheme

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The FBI is warning businesses in Georgia and seven other Southern states about a scheme in which people are using stolen credit card numbers to make large purchases by telephone.

A news release from the agency’s Charlotte Division on Monday says victims have been targeted in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, West Virginia, and Kentucky. 

The FBI said that so far in 2022, more than 100 businesses have been targeted, including tire stores, furniture stores, lumber companies, trailer businesses, and appliance stores.

According to the news release, once a purchase was made over the phone, items are picked up by drivers and taken to other states for resale. In many cases, drivers were hired through online job sites and paid using third party cash applications and were not aware the items were purchased illegally, the FBI said.

Days later, the victim businesses learned the sales were fraudulent. FBI Charlotte is working with several local law enforcement agencies on the investigation. The news release said.

Authorities believe there may be additional victims of the scheme and are asking anyone with similar experiences to call FBI Charlotte at 704-672-6100.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.