You know when you hear something or read something on the news and you never think that it would happen to you, but it does? That’s exactly what has been happening to me and my family over the past couple of days.

 

Phone scams are not a new thing here in Ocean County. Usually, most of the scams are targeted towards the elderly population because they do not have technological knowledge like younger folk. That is exactly what it seems these folks are trying to do.

If you are a customer with AT&T, listen up. My mother got a call from a 1-800 number, it was a woman posing as an AT&T customer service representative. She first told my mother that AT&T will be working on the phone towers tomorrow morning (this was Tuesday) and that in order for my mother's phone not to be affected she has to give her the PIN number to her account. My mother did so. BIG MISTAKE. The perpetrators used the PIN to set up automatic payments on my mother's account and before she knew it payments were being authorized on my mother's account that she didn’t know about.

Luckily, that night, I caught it and called AT&T right away. The representative told me that no AT&T representative will ever ask for a PIN number. The representative also told me that the number that called my mother was not in the directory - so it’s likely a fake.

The icing on the cake happened tonight, three days later, when my brother who is also an AT&T user got the same call from the same number and this time it was a guy that said the same line about AT&T working on the telephone lines. Now the guy who called my brother was not that clever. You could hear dogs in the background and you could just tell that he was sketchy, so my brother called him out on it and told him that someone else called the other day and said the same thing. The guy then said, “...so you want to suck my d--k”. My brother then hung up the phone.

This just goes to show that scamming is alive and well here in Ocean County. My parents were lucky, they got all their money back - but sometimes it’s not that simple. Always verify who you are talking to. If you ever have any suspicion your best bet is to hang up and call the official number.

Please note that the people scamming are posing as AT&T Customer Service Representatives and DO NOT work for AT&T.