AT&T is serious about protecting its customers against telecommunications fraud doing things like 24/7 monitoring of potential fraud and directing customers to resources for guarding their information. Fraudsters are trying constantly to find new ways to take advantage of both carriers and customers, so working together to keep everyone informed is critical to prevention.
In order to protect our customers from potential fraudulent activity on their AT&T account, we encourage customers to create a passcode when creating a new wireless account. Existing customers can add a passcode to their wireless account at any time, and we encourage them to do so by clicking the link below: Add, Change, or Reset a wireless security passcode
This awareness section is provided to give you information on customer-impacting fraud scams. Check back often for updates
Current Awareness Alerts
What Is It: In this scam you typically receive a call from someone claiming to be from a government agency, demanding that you make immediate payment to them to satisfy a legal obligation. Two of the more prominent scenarios are:
- • Caller identifies himself as the Internal Revenue Service demanding payment of an outstanding balance, OR
- • Caller identifies themselves as local law enforcement demanding payment of a fine for failure to appear for jury duty
In this scam the caller is generally demanding payment information (credit card, debit card or wire transfer) immediately and threatening criminal prosecution for failure to comply. Callers are generally very assertive and threatening.
What You Should Do: Do not engage these callers – hang up immediately. If you suspect that such an obligation exists, contact the government agency at their published phone number(s) to verify.For the IRS-related scam:
- • Refer to the following link for more information; http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Repeats-Warning-about-Phone-Scams
- • Refer to the following link to report the scam to the Treasury Inspector General’s Office; http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml
What Is It: In this scam you typically receive a call from someone claiming to be a computer technician with a technical support company. In some cases they will falsely represent themselves as affiliated with your internet service provider. They may tell you they have detected viruses or malware on your computer or offer a free security scan on your computer. Once you provide them with remote access to your computer they either attach malware which can steal your sensitive data or “lock” your computer and demand payment to “unlock.”
What You Should Do: Never provide remote access to your computer under these circumstances. In all cases never engage such services without first verifying that the company is in fact genuine. Refer to the “Social Engineering” section below as well as the following FTC link: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0346-tech-support-scams.
What Is It: The typical scenario is that you receive an incoming phone call, text message, or email enticing you to visit a website that appears to have an affiliation with AT&T or another company. In the case of a fake AT&T website, the enticement is generally the promise of a substantial bill discount or a gift card. Once at the fraudulent AT&T website, you are prompted to log in with your MyATT account credentials. The fraudster then uses the customer information obtained from the fake site to log into your account and make changes to the account or place orders.
For more information, you can access the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center website using this link; http://www.IC3.gov/media/default.aspx and refer to the press release Phishing Attacks On Telecommunication Customers Resulting In Account Takeovers Continue dated April 28, 2014.
What You Should Do: If you get this call or text message you should ignore it. Most importantly you should never use your AT&T account information to log into any website other than the AT&T website listed on your statement. Customers can report this activity to AT&T at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you already have been a victim of phishing, you should file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.IC3.gov.
What Is It: This is an extortion scheme by abusive callers claiming to be debt collectors operating from call centers located in India. It targets primarily businesses, some of which have been emergency service agencies, located in the United States. The supposed debt collectors have accurate data about the victims, including Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, employer information, bank account numbers, and the names and telephone numbers of relatives and friends. How the fraudsters obtained the personal information varies, but in some cases the victims completed online applications for loans or credit cards.
The supposed debt collectors relentlessly call the contact business phone of the victim concerning a defaulted loan --- in most cases a payday loan--- stating the victim must repay this loan to avoid legal consequences. The callers claim to be representatives of the FBI, Federal Legislative Department, various law firms, or other legitimate-sounding agencies. Perpetrators of this scam also use other coercion techniques, including abusive language, or threats of bodily harm or arrest, to get the victims to send money, usually by Western Union, Money Gram or Green Dot cards.
If the victim does not send a payment, the debt collector launches a TDOS (Telephony Denial of Service) attack at the victim’s workplace (TDOS involves a very high number of non-stop successive calls that prevents the business from receiving and responding to legitimate calls). In some cases the victim’s other contact numbers -- such as residential, wireless, etc. -- are also targeted for TDOS. The offenders have sophisticated equipment that allows them to commit the TDOS attack and also allows them to spoof the originating numbers, making it very difficult to stop the attack. The supposed debt collectors are typically located in India and have no fear of U.S.-based law enforcement.
What You Should Do: Do not engage these callers – hang up immediately. Report to the AT&T Fraud Desk at 800.337.5373 Prompt 1. File a complaint at www.IC3.gov.
What Is It: This scam involves missed calls that result in International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF) when the victim returns the call. Fraudsters use call generators with automated spoofing capabilities to place calls to a large volume of US cell phone numbers. The calls typically ring once. The number displayed on the recipient’s caller ID is a high-cost international number, usually located in the Caribbean. If you call the number back you’re greeted with a message designed to keep you on the line, such as “Hello, you have reached the operator, please hold.” The longer you stay on the line, the more revenue fraudsters generate.
You may not realize you’re calling an international number and that you will be billed for making an international call. Businesses are also victims because customers often use their work telephone to make the return call.
Area codes used in the spoofed numbers are usually from Anguilla, Antigua, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. These countries’ numbers are part of the North American Numbering Plan and do not require 011 to be dialed as with other international calls.
What You Should Do: Do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize or initiate a return call. You will not be charged for receiving the calls. Companies that do not conduct business with companies in the above-mentioned countries may want to consider blocking these area codes to avoid this type of charge. If you have been victimized by this scam, file a complaint at www.ftc.gov and www.IC3.gov.
Refer to the attached link for additional information; http://www.IC3.gov/media/2014/140213.aspx.
Nomorobo is a third-party service that can help prevent robocalls and telemarketing calls from reaching you on your voice over IP (VoIP) phone which is a digital phone different from the traditional voice phone. The service identifies calls to your voice over IP phone from known robocallers and telemarketers, and terminates them before you answer. You must have a feature known as “simultaneous ring” which rings on multiple phone numbers at the same time in order for the service to work.
Instructions to set up the free services are:
- Go to http://www.nomorobo.com and select Get Started Now – List your carriers
- In the dropdown for Type, choose Landline/VoIP
- In the dropdown for Carrier, choose AT&T U-verse
- Enter your email address and select Next
- You will receive an email confirming your request for Nomorobo service which you must confirm if you wish to use the service
- In the email you receive, select Click Here To Setup Nomorobo to be redirected back to the website in order to follow the remaining prompts for AT&T U-verse.
For a video explanation of how Nomorobo works, watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RywvAtwAqIo
*Nomorobo is not affiliated with AT&T. AT&T Traditional voice phone and AT&T Wireless are not currently compatible. For more information about this company and their policies, please visit their website at http://www.nomorobo.com
What is it: In this scam someone pretending to be from AT&T/ DIRECTV calls you with a tremendous discount offer on your service if you prepay for a period of time outside of your normal contract. These fraudsters usually ask you to make payment via a pre-paid credit card or retail gift card, and may provide you with a toll free call back number to complete the transaction.
What you should do: Do not engage these callers. AT&T/ DIRECTV does not solicit prepayments via pre-paid cards or gift cards. Hang up immediately. If you are ever approached by a caller claiming to be from AT&T/ DIRECTV and you feel they may not be legitimate, hang up and call the toll free customer service number on your bill. Always be certain you are speaking with a legitimate AT&T/ DIRECTV representative about your service or any current offers. If your account does not already have one, we recommend placing a passcode on your account for added security.
Techniques Commonly Employed in These Scams
What Is It: Social engineering is when someone manipulates you into performing a certain action or divulging confidential information. Social engineers employ many approaches to this – some of the more prominent techniques include:
- • Call or email from someone pretending to represent a legitimate company you might normally do business with. Caller asks for your account information (SSN, passwords, credit card numbers) “to verify” your account.
- • Call from a supposed court employee regarding jury duty – caller requests personal information under threat of fine or prosecution.
What You Should Do: Never provide account information to these callers. Hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company’s or government agency’s website to find out if the entity that supposedly contacted you actually needs the requested information from you. Contact AT&T at 1.800.337.5373, option 1 to report such activity. Also file a complaint at www.IC3.gov.
What Is It: Caller ID spoofing involves sending false or misleading information to deceive the receiving party and/or hide the caller’s true identity and/or call origination. In some cases, the Caller ID may even display the receiving party’s own number or a number very similar to the receiving party’s number making it look like a local incoming call.
What You Should Do: Do not give out personal information in response to an incoming call. Instead, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company’s or government agency’s website to find out if the entity that supposedly called you actually needs the requested information from you. If the “spoofed” Caller ID displays your own number or a similar number to your own, do not answer. In any case of spoofing, file a complaint at www.IC3.gov.
Identity theft is the unauthorized use of someone else's information to obtain goods and services. Fraudsters use various means to steal information associated with your identity, such as name, date of birth, address, and Social Security Number.
How can I protect myself?
- • Safeguard your personal information and be careful about sharing it.
- • Beware of people manipulating you for information.
- • Always use complex passwords online.
- • Don’t open emails or links from unknown sources.
- • Don’t give out your email address without knowing precisely how it will be used.
- • Be wary of telemarketing calls that make unrealistic promises or ask for personal information.
What if my identity is stolen?
Contact any of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file. The fraud alert asks creditors to contact you before opening new accounts or making changes to your existing accounts.
- • Equifax: 800.525.6285, www.equifax.com
- • Experian: 888.397.3742, www.experian.com
- • TransUnion: 800.680.7289, www.transunion.com
As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the other two bureaus automatically are notified to place fraud alerts, and you are eligible to receive two free credit reports from all three bureaus within twelve months. Additional steps you should take include:
- • Close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Use the ID Theft Affidavit which can be downloaded at www.consumer.ftc.gov.
- • File a police report, and get a copy to submit to your creditors and others who may require proof of the crime.
- • File your complaint with the FTC. The FTC maintains an identity theft database that law enforcement agencies use for investigations. Filing a complaint also helps the FTC better assist you, as the commission learns more about identity theft and the problems it creates. This can also be done online at www.consumer.ftc.gov or by calling the FTC.
What if my identity is used to establish AT&T service without my knowledge?
An identity theft victim usually discovers an unrecognized AT&T account in one of three ways:
- 1. Victim receives an AT&T bill for an unknown or unauthorized account
- 2. Victim receives a collection-agency notice for an unknown or unauthorized AT&T account
- 3. Victim’s credit report displays an unknown or unauthorized AT&T account
For wireless accounts, please contact the Global Fraud Management Organization at 877.844.5584.
For home phone, Internet, and U-verse TV accounts, contact the Global Fraud Management Organization at 866.718.2011.
Malware, which includes computer viruses, is malicious software designed to attack your computer and take control of some functions to transmit personal and financial information.
What are the signs?
- • Sluggish computer performance
- • Unwanted or unfamiliar ads
- • Changes in your Internet browser homepage
- • Unauthorized account access
What if my computer becomes infected?
While AT&T is not the source of – and cannot control – malware, we take our customers’ security and privacy very seriously. We recommend the following steps and tools to protect against malware:
- • Install, use, and regularly update anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
- • Ensure the operating system has all necessary security updates, recommended by the operating system provider.
- • Check online accounts for unauthorized activity.
- • Review trusted online sources for information on protecting your computer.
- • AT&T High Speed Internet customers can protect themselves and their PCs with the AT&T Internet Security Suite powered by McAfee®. This suite is free to qualified customers and includes anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall protection so that you can surf, search, and transact online with confidence.
There is no foolproof way to combat malware, but here are some online resources on malware and computer security. Listing a site should not be construed as an endorsement of the service provider or the provider‘s software.
Email fraud, also known as “phishing,” occurs when the sender masquerades as a trustworthy party to acquire sensitive information through any form of electronic communication. The fraudster often goes to great lengths to set up fake Web sites that appear to be those of real companies.
How do I spot it?
- • Be suspicious if the email asks you to update or verify your information.
- • Pay close attention to the URL to see if it’s organized in an unusual way.
- • Look for poor grammar or spelling; online scammers often live in countries where English is not the first language.
- • Check for a lack or incorrect use of trademarked symbols.
- • Be wary of links that lead to unfamiliar pages.
- • Refer to http://www.IC3.gov/media/default.aspx, and type “email fraud” in the search box for additional information.
What if I find email fraud?
If you receive an email that you believe to be fraudulent, choose from the options below. Be sure to include full headers in any reports.
If the phishing scam is impersonating AT&T or any AT&T-owned or -operated Web sites or services:
- a) Do not click on any links in a suspicious email. If you do click on a link that directs you to a login site, do not log in. Logging in may allow phishers to capture your login and password.
- b) Forward the email to AT&T Internet Security.
- c) If the phish is not related to your AT&T account, contact the company the email claims to be from.
If the phishing scam does not resemble a message from AT&T but is from an AT&T address, send an email to email@example.com.
For all other cases (non-AT&T messages from other email accounts, bank scams, and so on) send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If more information is needed, you may be contacted by a fraud investigator.
For additional information on how to protect yourself from email phishing and fake websites, please go to AT&T’s Internet Support site for more information.
Billing fraud is the act of placing fraudulent, unauthorized charges on your phone bill. You never authorized them and you don’t want them. AT&T takes billing fraud seriously and we work to protect and help customers who believe they may have been billed for unauthorized third-party charges.
What if it occurs?
- • You may request a "third-party bill block" at no charge by calling 800.288.2020. The bill block will not block long-distance charges. For additional tips, visit att.com/safety.
- • Be sure you know the charge in advance for calling 800 and 900 numbers. Not all 800 numbers are toll-free. For more information on toll-free 800 and 900 numbers, visit att.com/areacodes and select Frequently Asked Questions in the General Area Code Information section.
- • You can access up to the last 13 months of your phone bill at att.com/pay. If you see unfamiliar charges on your bill, call the toll-free number listed on the page where the charge appears.
Private Branch Exchange (PBX), voicemail, or Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) fraud targets businesses in an attempt to compromise customers' PBX, voicemail, or equipment for the purpose of selling or placing calls. Business customers whose equipment has been compromised could potentially have thousands of dollars in fraudulent calls charged to their account within a short period of time.
What if PBX, voicemail, or equipment fraud occurs?
If you suspect you are a victim immediately contact AT&T’s Global Fraud Management Organization at 800.821.8235, prompt 1.
Residential customers can also be victims of equipment fraud. Contact AT&T’s Global Fraud Management Organization at 800.286.7071 if you suspect fraud on your residential equipment.
Calling card fraud is the unauthorized use of a legitimate customer’s calling card information. Criminals will attempt to steal, find, or get physically close enough to read the calling card information.
What if calling card fraud occurs?
Contact AT&T’s Global Fraud Management Organization. Here are types of cards and the appropriate numbers to call:
- • Software Defined Network – Network Remote Access (SDN-NRA) cards: 800.932.9792
- • Business Calling Card Fraud Management (BCCFM) cards: 866.215.1329
- • Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) cards: 800.662.6214.
What should I do if my wireless phone is lost or stolen?
Report your phone as lost or stolen to AT&T as soon as you are aware of the situation. Contact a Customer Care representative at 800.331.0500.
How do I handle general billing questions, such as, calls I don’t recognize, issues regarding rate plans, and so on?
Contact Customer Care at 800.331.0500.
What if there are unauthorized charges from AT&T on my credit card or bank statement?
Disposition of credit card/bank account charges:
First, contact your financial institution for assistance with unauthorized charges.
Your financial institution should take steps to refund the payment through a chargeback process.
AT&T Account Disposition:
If a chargeback request has been completed and there are additional disputes of charges pertaining to an AT&T wireless account, contact the Global Fraud Management Organization at 877.844.5584. If the charges pertain to a home phone, Internet, or U-verse account, contact AT&T Customer Care at 800.288.2020.
What if additional lines were added to my existing AT&T wireless account or a new account was opened in my name without my consent?
The account holder should contact the Global Fraud Management Department at 877.844.5584.
What if someone has accessed my ATT.com account without my authorization?
Contact Customer Care at 800.331.0500.