Call Center Employee Addicted to Pornography, Steals Cingular Customer's ID

Keith Alan Joiner says he may be addicted to pornography, or at least that’s what he told police when they arrested him for “racking up more than $1,300 in charges visiting pornographic websites” on one Cingular customer’s dime. Joiner also confessed to stealing other credit card information while “employed as a call-taker at the West Corporation in Pensacola, Florida.” The West Corporation takes calls from Cingular customers.

Joiner was eventually caught after vigilant customers noticed charges appearing on their cards after they paid their bills by phone. We can’t stress enough that you keep an eye on your credit card statements. Without customers noticing the charges and realizing that they showed up after paying their bill over the phone with Cingular, Joiner might not have ever been caught. It’s also a good idea to ask for the name or ID# of your CSR, especially when you pay by credit card over the phone. You never know who is addicted to pornography out there.—MEGHANN MARCO

Man Admits to ID Theft [PNJ]


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  1. acambras says:

    This is one reason that the call center where I used to work prohibited pens and paper. We all had little 8×10 dry-erase boards for times when we needed to jot something down — it would be erased after the call was completed.

    I’m sure there are always ways to circumvent precautions and cheat the system, so I agree that it’s important for people to check their statements. Last month I found an unauthorized check-card charge for $14 on my Wachovia account. I reported it, and I’m completely satisfied with the way they handled it. I guess that’s important — for companies to be responsive when fraud does occur, because it seems like fraud will always be a problem.

  2. bndocksnt says:

    I don’t think a dry erase board would solve the problem at all. A camera phone is all you’d need to bypass that security technique. Also, don’t think call centers are your only risk. Retail stores collect enough information from you to open an entirely new credit card account (or four). I should know, it happened to me. Best advice to avoid identity theft: Go cash (credit card debt sucks anyway). Best advice to avoid those call-center guys: Pay online, or use the automated service.

  3. acambras says:

    True, bndocksnt — but this was before camera phones were so ubiquitous.