Warning: AT&T Customers are Latest Targets for New Scheme

  
     
April 24, 2014

Consumers are reporting they’ve been ripped-off by individuals posing as AT&T technical support using both emails and phone calls.  Through these schemes, people have lost hundreds of dollars and have had their personal and financial information compromised.

An example is what happened to one caller to the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, who stated that when trying to access her email a dialog box popped up.  The message stated her email may have been compromised and included a phone number to AT&T tech support. The consumer placed the call and it was answered by a business identifying itself as Q Tech Care/Expert Tech Support, and that it provided independent tech support for AT&T.  To prove its legitimacy and to gain her trust, the business provided the caller with a website that would give more information.

Another tactic used is to promise cash, as much as $350. All that is necessary is to go to a website provided by the caller and put in some personal information. In exchange the money would be credited to their accounts.

To avoid being caught by these kinds of scams, here are recommendations:

  • Consider how the business normally contacts you. Beware of a departure from the normal routine. Some providers typically send customer’s text messages, so be wary of a phone call.
  • Be extremely suspicious of any website wanting complete personal information. Most services and businesses that require personal identification already have the information from when you originally signed up, especially if the business is sending the message to you. They should not need your entire social security number or entire credit card number again.
  • Contact the business. Always call the business customer support line to check the legitimacy of the offer. Be sure to find the phone number on your bill or by a web search, not the website the scammers gave you.
  • Don't believe what you see. The website that scammers created for this scam looks amazingly similar to the real site. Stealing logos, colors and graphics online is easy for scammers. Just because it looks real, does not mean it is.  

For more advice on scams, visit www.bbb.org