Scammers Call Pretending to Be AT&T, Harvest Personal Info

Lisa Madigan, Illinois’ Attorney General, AT&T and TDS are informing consumers about scammers who are calling consumers and falsely representing themselves as AT&T representatives. The scammers offer a 35% discount on your long distance service, then ask you to “verify” a few things. From the Illinois Attorney General’s Office:

“Consumers need to be prepared if they receive this type of phone call,” said Madigan. “Do not provide any personal information over the telephone, and if you believe you have received such a call, please report the call to your phone company as well as to the Attorney General’s consumer protection hotline.”

“Customers of telecommunications services need to be cautious. Generally, customers can tell from the level of professionalism and grammar that it is a fraudulent call. The caller is speaking quickly and trying to confuse the customer with names and requests. And when pressed for more information such as a company Website or name they generally hang up,” states Andrew Petersen, Director of Legislative Affairs and Public Relations for TDS.

The latest report to the IAG’s Office was from a TDS customer. When the caller said that he was calling from AT&T, the TDS customer told the scammer that he didn’t have AT&T for long distance. The scammer replied that AT&T and TDS “had merged.” (They haven’t.) There’s no reason to think that this only happens in Illinois, so the rest of you keep an ear out. Don’t fall for this stuff!—MEGHANN MARCO