A local news report in Nashville about a local man whose ID was stolen and used to open up two bogus Comcast accounts hundreds of miles away in Louisiana has uncovered numerous additional complaints from consumers in the area who say they have also been sent to collections for fake Comcast accounts opened in the same city.
News 2 in Nashville first had the story of a Tennessee man who couldn’t understand why he was suddenly receiving collections notices over his Comcast bill, which he’d always paid in full.
What’s more, the outstanding Comcast charges totaled $1,300, so this couldn’t have been a case of a single missed payment.
“Comcast basically said the name and Social matches what we have on record so this is your account,” the man tells News 2. “You need to pay the money and we’re not going to pull it back from collections.”
When he checked his credit report, he saw that someone in Shreveport, Louisiana — a city he had no ties to before this incident — had used his personal info to set up not one, but two bogus Comcast accounts in his name.
While Comcast didn’t seem to care much about his problem initially, it jumped right onto his complaint after News 2 aired his story. He says the company is now promising to remove the bogus debt, but he’s waiting until he gets that in writing.
The report also brought out other area residents who had been fighting Comcast and collections agencies over fake accounts that were also set up in Shreveport.
One woman tells News 2 she received a collections notice in April for $100 in allegedly overdue Comcast bills. Comcast assured her that her account was in good standing, but the collection attempts continued. Eventually, she learned that her name and SSN had been used to open an account in, you guessed it, Shreveport.
Another customer says he was billed for $1,100 in Comcast service for an unauthorized account in Shreveport, where apparently no one actually pays for cable. He initially got the matter cleared up through Comcast, but he’s still getting letters from a debt collector for the illegal account.
Comcast explained in a letter to some customers that earlier this year, it learned from Shreveport police that “a small group of individuals employed by a third-party vendor and a former Comcast employee were engaged in identity theft and theft of Comcast services. These individuals may have used your information, including your name and/or Social Security number, for these unauthorized purposes.”
Comcast is, as always taking “this matter very seriously.”
“We have no evidence that this was an online system breach or that any additional personal information was obtained or used for any other purpose,” reads a statement from a company rep to News 2. “We are continuing to cooperate with law enforcement and are conducting our own internal investigation. The individuals involved in this are no longer working on our behalf, and we have reinforced our privacy and security policies with employees and third-party vendors.”
We repeat the question we’ve asked so many times in the last few months: Why does Comcast think it deserves to buy another 10 million customers when it can’t handle the ones it already has?
Thanks to Karen for the tip!