Various text and online scams have been on the rise again, even in this time when everybody is clearly in distress and challenged because of the pandemic. August and September saw an increase in ruses targeting customers of a particular telecom company AT&T. Because of the number of subscribers to the company’s services, a lot of scammers have become attracted to get their share of this unsuspecting AT&T customers. The types of scams they have been pulling off have become varied, from emails to sim swaps, and currently, the wave of scams has been through SMS messages.
What is sad with these scams is that many people have fallen victim and considering that many have already lost jobs and means of livelihood, they also had to lose whatever savings or remaining money they have to these schemes. AT&T and various government agencies have already rolled out strategies to assist and curb these scams, so it is hoped that fewer customers become victims. After all, the last thing we need in these trying times is more people getting scammed. Also, information is key in avoiding getting duped by these scammers, so it is essential that people are constantly updated and not left in the dark to be preyed upon.
Knowing more about the scam
As mentioned earlier, scams involving the logo and brand of AT&T have been around for quite a while. They have come in various forms, from emails, phone calls from alleged customer service agents of the company, and even emails. For a time, the most popular method of scamming was phone calls coming from scammers who introduce themselves as AT&T employees, requesting customers to take a survey and in return, they end up getting personal and confidential information. Emails were also received by victims asking them to open links that are supposed to help them, but they end up surrendering information as well. Finally, the latest is a slew of text messages telling customers that they need to settle unpaid dues. No matter the form, scammers usually get sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers, and social security numbers.
Consumers report getting phishing texts this summer telling them that their bill hasn’t been paid yet for their internet or cell service. In some cases, the texts say their AT&T payment has been put on hold.
What to do if you’ve been victimized
The key to limit the damage of these scams if indeed you have become a victim is to act immediately. There is no time to waste when it comes to these scammers. At the first sign of you getting scammed by an AT&T scammer, you need to get in touch with your credit card companies and ask for a freeze with your account. Change your passwords and usernames immediately and if possible, do a two-factor authentication to increase the security of your online accounts.
If you do fall victim to this type of text message scam the BBB recommends taking the following steps: Contact your banking institutions to report fraud and cancel credit cards used for all transactions or connected to the mobile device
Avoid being a target
Alas, as an adage goes, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. You need to be careful so as not to be a constant target of these scams. Exercise skepticism by not giving out personal information freely to just about anyone who gets in touch with you, even if you are contacted via phone. Besides, if you are an AT&T subscriber, you have the customer service hotline of the company, so give them a call ASAP if you have received any text, email or calls from them.
Scammers are tricky. They’ll send messages that appear to be from a legitimate company, such as your wireless carrier, bank or medical facility, and include a link asking you to verify your account information. The link then takes you to a site that may look real, but is actually fake. The object is to collect your username, password and other personal information for future use.
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