Culligan offices have received reports of attempted fraud by phone and email. The attempts have included water treatment dealers, water well drillers and pump installers. Persons have attempted to purchase RO equipment and pumps using stolen credit cards.
These are not insignificant amounts. One pump installer had $9,700 worth of product ready to ship when he discovered that a stolen credit card was being used to pay for the order, which came from a person in Seymour, Ind. A well driller had already shipped about $5,000 worth of pumps before he became aware of the scam. The pumps were headed for Ethiopia.
Jan Friedrich, of Butler Water Systems in Fairfield, Ohio, provided a first-hand report on the phone scam:
“We have been plagued recently with scams wanting us to send ‘filters’ using a credit card for payment. When you process the cards they may or may not be declined. If it is declined they immediately give you another credit card number. The second card will have all the same numbers except the last two numbers will be different. They give you an address to send five reverse osmosis systems to Accra-Ghana, West Africa. Please understand this is a scam. If you listen you can hear other callers in the background. It is simply a phone room. We have caller ID and so far the calls have been coming from Florida, Los Angeles and New York. Unfortunately they also use the relay for the hearing impaired. The first call came from that source. A supervisor came on the line and told me it was a scam and asked if I wanted to end the relay. He then explained what was happening. I could not begin to tell you how many of these calls we have gotten.”
For more details, call Friedrich directly at (513) 863-5700.
The scam involving pumps is somewhat different in that contractors receive emails asking them to quote on a specific quantity of pumps. The recent emails indicate the customer is in Seymour, Ind.