Beware of this scam with your New Jersey cable bill
Recently, a friend of mine told me about a clever and elaborate scheme regarding his Comcast/Xfinity cable bill.
He is an extremely smart and savvy person and consumer. Like the rest of us, he loves a good deal but knows that some can be too good to be true.
And this one was.
Here's what he said happened:
“I received a professional sounding automated call from somebody claiming to be from Comcast/Xfinity with an offer that would allow me to cut my monthly Comcast/Xfinity TV & Internet bill in half. "Press one to speak with a representative" the message said. So I pressed 1.
Great offer: Simply pay 8 months in advance at the new lower rate, no more bills for the next 8 months and when the billing resumes in June of 2023, it will be the new lower rate ($75/month instead of $150 per month). I called the number using my Xfinity VOIP landline and gave out no information, not even my name.
The person I was speaking to asked if the number I was calling from was associated with my Xfinity account and I said yes. The person on the other end of the phone then asked, "Am I speaking with [John Smith] " and I said yes again. He knew my address, my Xfinity account number and even how much my monthly bill was.
It sounded like a fantastic deal. Now I was already enrolled for automatic monthly billing against a credit card on file with them and I asked if they were just going to charge that credit card for the first 8 months' prepayment amount. That is when he told me that the promotional plan was being done in conjunction with the Target store chain and to take advantage of it, I would have to make the 8 month pre-payment using prepaid Target debit cards (Available at any grocery or drug store but multiple cards required because the prepayment amount was larger than the $500 limit on a single card).
And to make the deal even sweeter, If I called back their "Billing department" with 4 hours with that card information, they would even credit my account with a $100 prompt payment discount which had already been credited to my account but would disappear (i.e- be reversed) if I did not call back with the Target debit card information within 4 hours. My "representative" then asked If I could check my account to see if that $100 credit had appeared on my account and surprisingly, it was indeed there!
What more proof do you need that you were actually talking to a Comcast/Xfinity representative than a credit posted to your account? Except I wasn't. I got through to a live Comcast representative who confirmed it was indeed a scam but one of the most convincing & elaborate ones I have ever encountered.”
Spread the word
Scammers and criminals are getting more sophisticated in their approach and with technology.
Pass this along to as many people as possible to let them know that even if you think you're pretty savvy and sharp the cockroaches out there are getting sharper.
Here's what Comcast is telling customers
A spokeswoman for Comcast says this story was shared with their security team. She also said that if anyone ever suspects anything suspicious, they should do exactly what my friend did: call Comcast immediately.
"A customer should be suspicious of anyone that requests personal information, such as solicitations for usernames, passwords, account numbers or any other personal data," Comcast Vice President Jennifer Bilotta said.
"Customers can report alleged scams to our Comcast Security Assurance team, which is a dedicated group of security professionals, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, for additional support, customers also can contact us at https://internetsecurity.xfinity.com/help/report-abuse or 1-888-565-4329.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.
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