Contact Kim: Verizon customers targeted in phishing scam

Published: Dec. 12, 2013 at 10:32 PM CST
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Be wary of calls from an 1-800 number offering discounts or bill credits.
Be wary of calls from an 1-800 number offering discounts or bill credits.

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Who hasn't received a call from a 1-800 number on their cell phone? It's not that unusual, but some Verizon customers are being targeted by scammers, luring them in with the promise that they have received a discount.

When people respond, naturally, the caller requests personal information. But before you go handing out your information, you should be aware of this scam, which aims to deduct – not refund – money to your account.

Most inbound 1-800 calls are either from telemarketers or legitimate sources. But one number in particular is appearing on some Verizon customers' call logs. A recording notifies you that you have been selected for a discount on your bill, or you have won money that will be applied to the next bill.

The idea is to make it appear the call is coming from Verizon. In some cases, a recording gives a website address you must visit in order to apply for the refund.

"It is designed to make you think you are interacting with Verizon so that you will visit this bogus site, give out your information, and possibly have spyware downloaded on your own system," said Michele Mason with the Better Business Bureau.

Verizon wants to make it clear to customers that they would never contact customers in this way. They said they will not call you and tell you that you've been pegged for a refund. The company says that if for some reason you are eligible for a refund, you would be contacted by mail only.

As for visiting sites you are unfamiliar with, Mason has this warning:

"It's dangerous to visit an unfamiliar site. Just visiting a website alone could cause a virus or spyware to be downloaded onto your computer and you won't even know it. Don't visit a site you are not familiar with," she said.

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