Cable company calling with a free offer? Not!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

 

Consumer Action is warning consumers about a new fraud in which a scam artist calls, claiming to be from the consumer's cable company. Many people have received such unsolicited calls. The callers often promise a free DVR and other promotional perks in exchange for an up-front fee. Some scam artists may even promise to set up an installation date for the devices to lend authenticity to the scam.

During the initial contact, scam callers may be asked for the fee to be paid with a credit card number immediately or by purchasing a prepaid credit card and calling back to give the scammer the account number. The scam artists provide a call-back number, usually a a toll-free 800 number with a message identifying the line as “[your cable company's] Rewards.” 

Never provide financial information or account numbers to unsolicited callers. Funds on a prepaid card are hard to track—or get back—once the scammers get the numbers. Such funds usually are not recoverable by law enforcement or banking officials.

Consumers who believe they are victims of this fraud should contact their local police department, the cable company and their state's attorney general.

Consumer Action offers many free multilingual publications on how to protect yourself from frauds and scams. Click here to view these materials. Also, follow Consumer Action's Alerts and Headline News on our home page.

Consumer Action, founded in 1971, is a national education and advocacy organization based in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

 

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