PDA

View Full Version : ID Theft / Scam: How are they profiting?


Dr. Drake
02-26-2010, 10:30 AM
After a day or so of constant one-ring calls with nobody on the line, we got a message from AT&T asking to confirm that we'd set up call-forwarding. We hadn't. One long night of the phone going every couple of hours (nobody ever there), and then I get through to AT&T. They said someone calling as me, with my SSN, had authorized call-forwarding, remote access to call forwarding, and changed the billing address. No way, says I. AT&T rep. is both kind and smart but has not encountered this before; helps me out and then we hang up.

I called the number it was supposedly forwarded to, 415 area code, and a very nice British doctor (or so he claimed) was as puzzled as I. Moreover, he said he hadn't been getting our calls, and when we tried our home number from our cell phones it did not forward anywhere.

After stopping all of the above, we continued to get several weird calls from British Telecom (i.e. the U.K. telephone utility) saying "Hello, this is BT Direct. Do you wish to pay for the call by chargecard or credit card?" Some variants: "Caller, please state your name to initiate the call..." but when we say "no, hell no," etc., they cannot hear. Clicking sounds on the line like transfers.

So: what is going on? I know it's ID theft because my contact information has also been changed for a credit card (and I'm on top of this aspect of it). I just can't see what the angle is: I can see someone trying to get my bills in order to support their claim to be me, but I can't see why they'd attempt to hijack the phone number. Is this part of a scam happening in the U.K. where people will suddenly find they've called us? AT&T might charge us for collect calls from Britian, but that's nothing to do with Pseudo-Dr. Drake, is it?

Machine Elf
02-26-2010, 10:35 AM
I can see someone trying to get my bills in order to support their claim to be me, but I can't see why they'd attempt to hijack the phone number.

Maybe so when your CC company calls to ask, "hey, are all these weird credit card charges from yesterday really yours," the call goes to the identity thief (or a co-conspirator) instead of you, and they say "why yes, I made those charges, everything's fine, thanks for asking." That would let them ring up charges on your card much longer, at least until you get your next monthly statement.