KGW-TV in Portland (the one in the upper left portion of the map) has the story of an area man who was baffled when a message from Comcast ended up in his e-mail inbox.
“I got one from Xfinity that said we owed $25 or they were going to send the police after us if we didn’t pay it,” the customer, who says he was not even behind on his bill, tells KGW.
First things first, the age of debtors’ prisons is long gone, so not only will you not be arrested for owing your cable company a few bucks, it’s against federal law for a company to even claim you could be put in jail for owing a debt.
So either the nation’s largest cable and Internet company has decided to break the law in an effort to collect a few bucks, or it’s a phishing attempt trying to get the customer’s financial information.
“The tip-off of the common phishing scam is that at some point they’re going to ask you for your password and for your bank account information number and/or instant cash,” a rep for the Dept. of Justice explains to KGW, while also saying that the e-mail received by the Portland man was “fairly convincing-looking.”
Comcast confirms that it did not send the e-mail in question and that the company never asks for customer passwords or billing information via e-mail.
The customer says he didn’t fall for the scam, but even so, these sorts of notices can be an annoying disruption.
“We’ll have to make these phone calls, you know, do we really owe this? Do we? Do we?” he says.
He’s asking for Comcast to send out a warning letter to customers about being on the lookout for scam notices like this, because not everybody will be savvy enough to see through the phishing attempt.
“We live in an environment of corporate bullying anyway and to be stalked like this,” he explains. “I thought, boy, there’s a lot of people out there that are vulnerable.”