If You Think You Can’t Get Scammed, Think Again
It's Friday afternoon. I had just walked through the door at my house, when I got a call from an unknown number with an 855 exchange. I picked up the phone, said hello, and heard a recording telling me that my AT&T Wireless account had been suspended.
It gave me the option to press 1 to speak to someone about getting it reactivated. I immediately hit the 1 and was connected to an operator. I told the person that my account had been suspended and that I needed to find out what was going on. Truthfully, I couldn't remember the last time I had paid my bill, so I wasn't sure if I was overdue or not.
The operator asked me for my account password, which I (luckily) did not know. He told me that he would text me a number. I waited for the text to arrive, but it never did. Then he said that he had emailed it to me.
It looked like a VERY official email from AT&T Wireless. I didn't think for a second that I was going down a dangerous path. He told me that someone in Miami, Florida had tried to make changes to my account, including changing the name to Juan Riveira. He asked if I had authorized these changes. "No!" I said in disbelief. I couldn't believe someone had hacked my account!
"Don't worry," he said. "They weren't successful, but we'll need to change your account password."
He then told me that he'd text me the number again. That's when I just had a weird feeling of apprehension pop into my gut. "You know, what?" I said to him, "I'm just going to call AT&T directly because now that I'm thinking about it, you called me."
No sooner was the sentence out of my mouth when the man hung up on me. The call was disconnected.
I raced to call AT&T Customer Service. I relayed the story to the customer service rep who agreed that the call and email I received were fraudulent. Someone was trying to hack my account, but it wasn't Juan Riveira. It was the guy who called me trying to help!
I often hear stories on the news about senior citizens falling victim to these types of scams. I can't even believe an identity theft scam almost worked on me.