CONSUMER ALERT: Beware new phone 'phishing' scam

Posted by: Cody Holyoke - bio | email

PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) - In the air conditioning and heating business for nearly two decades, Christy Chatman is on the phone quite a bit.

A call Monday morning caught her off guard.

"They claimed that they were with AT&T, from the collections department, collecting on an old debt," Chatman said.

The caller on the other end of the line wanted money--lots of it.

"I owed them $499, and they said it was for advertising on the internet for the years of 2008 and 2009," she explained.

There's only one problem:  Chatman says her company doesn't advertise online.

After repeated attempts, the caller demanded the money immediately.

Christy called AT&T, who denied any involvement in the calls.  The company's spokeswoman tells us these types of phishing scams aren't uncommon.

"There are--from time to time--scams taking place with regard to AT&T and Real Yellow Pages, and based on what the customer is saying is not at all consistent with how we do business," said Sue Sperry of AT&T Alabama.

When these scams do pop up, it's important to verify who you're talking to.

"We would never go through a third party, certainly not Western Union, or ask for a credit card over the phone," Sperry explained.

AT&T asks anyone who gets one of these calls to contact them at 1-800-288-2020.@

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