On Your Side Alert: Beware of TV offer scams - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

On Your Side Alert: Beware of TV offer scams

DirecTV (Source: Wikimedia Commons) DirecTV (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
(WWBT) -

There is an important warning for those of you taking calls from DirecTV.

Some customers in the area are getting hit by scammers, promising to lower your bill. But, we’ve learned they don't work for DirecTV. They're just trying to take your money.

Nancy Tankerly called in to alert us to the scam. She says she has worked for DirecTV, so she knows intimately how the company works.

So when she got a call shortly after a service call to her parents' home, she figured it was a follow-up survey to see how the technician had performed. She answered the call, and it was someone offering her a deal on her parents’ bill.

“It was a gentleman telling me that he could get my $250 bill that my parents paid down to $69 a month for the first two years,” explained Tankerly. “As long as I paid five months in advance of $65, which came to $345 and he insisted on me paying this.”

Nancy says her job was as a supervisor in the retention department for Direct TV, so she was immediately suspicious.

She says she googled the number they gave her: 1-888-575-9616, extension 1.

"It comes up with multiple scams," said Tankerly. We also checked and came up with similar results.

We reached out to DirecTV directly, and here is their response:

If a customer feels a call or email is not legitimate, we encourage them to call the number on their bill. We monitor our network for potential fraud activity and provide information about fraud scams on our website.

Call the company with a number you have, instead of one provided by someone you find suspicious.

Nancy says she's just glad she answered the phone and knew better, so she didn't lose all that money. She reached out to NBC12 to warn others.

“My hopes are that [there are] elderly people out there who don't know the difference [and] who would probably fall for these scams. I want them to be aware of any scams,” said Tankerly. “And this one is going around. Please don't call this number. These people want to take your money.”

Here's the entire statement from DirecTV:

If a customer feels a call or email is not legitimate, we encourage them to call the number on their bill. We monitor our network for potential fraud activity and provide informaiton about fraud scams on our website.

We make consumers aware and provide tips on how to prevent many types of scams, including prepaid card scams, at  https://www.att.com/t/fraud/en/index.html#alerts

Prepaid Card Scam

What is it: In this scam someone pretending to be from AT&T/ DIRECTV calls you with a tremendous discount offer on your service if you prepay for a period of time outside of your normal contract. These fraudsters usually ask you to make payment via a pre-paid credit card or retail gift card, and may provide you with a toll free call back number to complete the transaction.

What you should do: Do not engage these callers. AT&T/ DIRECTV does not solicit prepayments via pre-paid cards or gift cards. Hang up immediately. If you are ever approached by a caller claiming to be from AT&T/ DIRECTV and you feel they may not be legitimate, hang up and call the toll free customer service number on your bill. Always be certain you are speaking with a legitimate AT&T/ DIRECTV representative about your service or any current offers. If your account does not already have one, we recommend placing a passcode on your account for added security.

We also have a new consumer education page that has tips (http://about.att.com/sites/cybersecurity/ae/hce) for consumers about how to not be a victim to these types of scams.

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