AT&T is a leading long-distance telephone service provider in the United States, servicing over 50 million phone lines from coast to coast. The very name "AT&T" is instantly recognizable in households across America. The company’s long history means that people trust them.
However, cybercriminals are more than willing and able to exploit that trust using the same technology that the company helped develop. These criminals typically impersonate AT&T employees, especially customer service, to defraud customers of money and sensitive information.
While the company takes several measures to reduce these scams, customers must also play their roles in protecting themselves. The majority of this role starts with performing a reverse phone search to look up unknown callers and reporting suspected scammers to the authorities.
AT&T phone scams take on various forms but typically involve a person impersonating the company’s employee to steal money or sensitive information. This is typical of other cell providers’ scams, as well, such as Verizon phone scams. Technology has made phone scams simpler and bigger to carry out. Auto dialers let scammers make millions of callers at the same time at a low cost.
Likewise, spoofing software enables scammers to conceal or even change their caller ID to appear like the caller ID for a legitimate business or government agency. Both of these help scammers reach more targets at the same time and improve the likelihood that someone would respond.
Scams take on different forms, but here are the common scams reported by customers:
From impersonating customer service to sending phishing texts and fictitious prize claims, a scammer’s goal remains the same: to steal money or information they can monetize. In addition to the information available in your phone number, the following information is valuable to scammers:
When you report a phone scam, it helps ensure that AT&T is aware of the fraud and takes steps to help protect its customers from that type of fraud. AT&T has several ways customers may report phone scams, from calling an emergency line to sending an email.
Generally, you should contact the law enforcement in your state or county first. This is usually the Sheriff’s Office or the Police Department in the county you live in. Then, you can report the phone scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Individuals who have been defrauded can use the FTC's report fraud page to file a complaint with the agency. If you have a victim of identity theft, make your report on the identity theft reporting platform. Likewise, the FBI crime complaint center is where you can report anything concerning online fraud, phone scams, and identity theft.
You should report the phone number that appears on the caller ID (report the number even if you think it is spoofed). Individuals should also report any number provided by fraudsters, whether for a callback or as a substitute.
Scammers have been out for a long time, but they've never been more active than in recent years. Ever since the arrival of smartphones, phone scamming has skyrocketed, and it's no wonder why. Although the proliferation of phishing websites and new schemes is concerning, there are steps you can take to protect yourself against fraud.
The best way to protect yourself against AT&T phone scams is to keep your personal information, bank account details, and other sensitive details private. Here are other tips:
If you notice strange charges from AT&T on your financial statement, contact the company’s customer service line to confirm the charges. An agent can also advise you on the next steps if you have indeed been scammed. Generally, you will have to do the following:
When you file a complaint, ensure to provide enough information and describe the situation as clearly as you can. The more details you provide will help track down the scammer and put scammers away.