NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s a trap any cable subscriber could fall for.
A North Texas woman said she’s not the first and she’s certainly not the last.
Now she’s warning other customers about what to avoid when they think they are renewing their contracts.
Dana Mead paid for what she thought was a contract update for AT&T.
She assumed she’d never see her money again until she called The Ones for Justice.
There’s nothing Dana Mead loves more than watching TV after a stressful day.
So when someone texted Mead, claiming to be from AT&T, she responded.
Mead thought it was perfect timing. On the phone, the man offered to upgrade her plan three days before it expired.
“He acted very smooth, as if he had done this all the time,” Mead said.
Mead claims the imposter recited her account details and was even able to remotely turn on HBO and Showtime, which are channels she doesn’t have.
“He did it right in front of my eyes, that made me feel secure, [like] I was talking to AT&T,” Mead said.
That’s why Mead agreed to move forward. The scammer proposed to drop the cost of her plan if she paid $270 upfront using an eBay gift card.
“I thought that was weird, “Mead said, “But the fact he walked me through looking at the channels I normally do not subscribe to, there they were free.”
Mead bought the gift card and gave the man what he needed to process the payment.
She only realized she got duped after AT&T sent her a statement for her real plan several days later.
“Be aware there are a lot of good scammers out there,” Mead said.
Of course, these scams have been around for years.
Mead wishes she’d only seen it beforehand.
“I really, really, really want people to know about this because people are being scammed on a daily basis,” Mead said.
In response to the scam experienced by Mead, a spokesperson from AT&T issued the following statement:
“This type of scam does not involve a breach of our systems. The information used by the fraudster did not come from us. In these types of scams, fraudsters trick people into believing they are calling on behalf of legitimate companies. If any company calls you and demands payment with a prepaid card, it’s a red flag. We recommend consumers hang up on these calls. We have an alert about this here.”
AT&T says never give your personal information to someone who calls you.
Instead, call the number on your bill to make sure you’re talking to the right company.
And if someone asks you to pay with a prepaid card, don’t do it.
AT&T does not typically refund customers who have been scammed. But in this case, the company credited Mead $200 for the trouble she went through to fix her account. The company removed extra services from her bill that had auto renewed as a result of the confusion.
The Federal Trade Commission also posts a list of popular scams on its website. Click here to learn about recent scams and warning signs.