PSA: Beware of Scam Calls From "AT&T" Claiming To Give You Money
From personal experience, and reports online, it's clear that the phone scam -- purporting to be from AT&T and offering customers hundreds of dollars if they go to a specific website -- is on the rise. Here are some details so you don't get defrauded, or worse.
It comes usually in the form of "robo-calls," but sometimes from an actual person, and it involves purportedly giving AT&T customers a "cash award" or credit on their bills. Watch out: it's a scam.
I, and some other AT&T customers from across the country, have been deluged with calls from "AT&T" asking about our satisfaction with AT&T's service, asking for ID verification, and telling us to go to any number of websites with the letters "att" to "redeem" our cash awards.
The scam involving a real person asking you to respond to a survey (along with giving away enough identifying information that they can access your account) and then offering to credit your account by about $30 has been around since at least early 2013, but it appears the fake AT&T website calls -- offering hundreds of dollars -- is relatively new, or at least has been ramping up in recent weeks.
The more recent "AT&T" scam may be trying to catch unsuspecting victims after the recent "switching" incentive war between AT&T and T-Mobile, where the companies were attempting, in essence, to steal customers from each other by offering $100 to $350 credits for switching. Those promotions, of course, have nothing to do with randomly handing out hundreds of dollars to customers if they just go to a website and fill out their personal information though.
One of the exasperating elements of this second, more recent, spoofing and phishing scam (scammers pretending to be someone they aren't and looking to hook anyone that might give them personal information respectively) is that the phone number from which the calls come is almost always a business-like "800" number, and the number changes day to day.
Personally, I've received between two and five calls per week for the last two weeks, seemingly all from different "800" numbers. They were all to my AT&T phone and all were offers for hundreds of dollars if I went to the "att" spoof site.
That's the other potentially dangerous element of the "AT&T" scam. The websites could trick unaware people because they all have "att" in the URL: sites like att620 dot com or gotoatt300 dot com. Here's AT&T's own examples of the scam URLS:
Never go on any of those websites -- you could get infected by malware immediately. And, of course, never enter any personal information on these sites.
AT&T offers an overview of the recent scam, which the company also says has operated via text message. If you get any suspected scamming text messages, you can forward them to AT&T using the number 7726, which spells SPAM. Never, never click on the link in the text message.
AT&T is investigating the call/website scam, and you can help them by reporting suspected all fraudulent calls to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you been spammed with "AT&T" scam calls? Vent in the comments and tell your story.
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