STATELINE (BBB) -- Consumers are reporting they’ve been ripped-off by scammers posing as AT&T technical support using both emails and phone calls. Through these scams, people have lost hundreds of dollars and have had their personal and financial information compromised according to the BBB.
An example is what happened to one caller to the Rockford office of the Better Business Bureau, 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.
“To be successful, scammers must get their targets to trust them. After that it’s easy for scammers to get what they are want,” said Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford office of the Better Business Bureau. “The best advice is always be skeptical of any email or phone call you get from someone you don’t know.”
“Unfortunately, this caller’s skepticism came too late,” explained Horton. “She contacted AT&T after she had provided her personal and credit card information and had been charged $199.”
Horton noted that the phone calls targeting AT&T and their customers also have the specific goal to get personal information or upload malware onto wireless devices.
Another tactic used by the scammer is to promise cash, as much as $350, said Horton. 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.
“The websites att620.com and goatt320.com are fake, but resemble the real AT&T website. By following the scammer’s instructions without question puts people in the position of becoming victims of identity theft” added Horton.
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.