Monday, February 15

Did I totally get scammed or what?

Good morning, who is that? And what is your full name? And your shoe size? And your father's favorite book?  And the name of your first babysitter?...I'm not sure what happened, but there is a slight possibility that I may or may not have gotten scammed.

And I'm not embarassed to admit this because I really don't think I did anything stupid. And because if this really was a scam, I'm not sure what these people were trying to achieve.

See, I consider myself to be a hyper-vigilant person when it comes to online shopping, giving out personal info, and with trust-issues, in general. Go ahead, call me paranoid. So when my cell phone began to ring while I was at work with a toll-free number I didn't recognize, I was already on high alert.

The operator said she was with my cell phone carrier, and immediately told me that there were changes to my plan but just wanted to remind me of the current balance on my bill (which was correct). She proceeded to say that the names of the plans had changed, and that she was required to inform me of how this would affect me. Basically I'd still be paying the same amount (which was again correct), but now the plan had this new name, and basically it'd have this many number of minutes which would mean -- based on my usage in the past month -- would mean I would be saving money for both my line and the other line on my account (which she also identified correctly).

She had my full name, the phone numbers on my account, what my plan included, how much I paid, how much we'd used the account, and did I want to add another line at this point (no, thank you, I didn't), and based on the texting overages on line #2, did I want to add the unlimited plan (which I thought I had, but she correctly pointed out that I didn't), and could I verify the last four digits of my soc.

I paused. She didn't ask for the whole number, just the last 4.

Now, I was so busy because it was 9:47AM, the studio was mayhem as it always is that time of day while the Crew is moving out of the studio and I'm getting settled. But it occurred to me that anyone who already had this much info about me could easily also have the last four digits of my soc anyway. So I did tell her. She didn't even ask me for the full account # for my cell phone (which you would need to know to get anywhere if you wanted to tamper with my cell phone account).

She did however ask me to verify account password. Not the password to access online, the account password you use when you call up and try to make changes. I said I didn't remember it....

And she said, ok that's fine. Just remember that if I'd like to recall the password and make changes to it, then dial this certain protocol, and press this and this and this (which was completely legitimately correct number and all correct instructions).

So to complete the call, she had to read through like two minutes of dialogue with all the usual long disclaimers, etc. etc. And did I approve of the change? Before I responded, she basically repeated the new plan name, verified that the amount I was paying per line was not changing, and did I have any questions (I didn't.)

And that was it.

Meanwhile, I was online looking at my account info while all of this was going on, not being able to figure out where they had changed the name of my plan.

And to heck if I couldn't find it anywhere!

SO. Whaddya think? Was I scammed? Did I thwart a scam? I'm so confused.

I mean, they already had so much information already, what was the point in even calling me?

Oh goodness, a little part of me sounds incredibly stupid right now, but the timing of such a phone call couldn't have been more perfect since I was so distracted. However, I am 100% certain that I didn't reveal anything new that you couldn't already look up online.

Please feel free and share you two cents. But don't you dare ask me for my mother's maiden name or my blood type, 'coz I ain't that stupid.


  1. I wouldn't have given my last four digits of my social security number. They called you, not the other way around so why did they need you to verify that? Definitley sounds like they were trying to get as much info as they could from you so If I were you, I would call your phone company and ask them if this new name change and such is really going just might found out you were being scammed.

  2. Usually you enter the last 4 digits of your soc on ur phone... like you punch it in rather than say it out loud to the person... Idk... sounds pretty shady... i say call the number that called you and see what happens, who answers, what automated system responds to the call.... Good luck!

  3. Call your provider. Writing a huge blog about it probably took longer to do than it would to get the actual answer.

  4. I agree with what the first person said. Call your phone company just in case. It does sound like somebody is trying to steal your identity.

  5. LOL, duh :) I already on hold w the cell phone co while I was writing this blog... cmon now, give me *some* credit here!! was just wringing my hands so to speak while waiting to get through to a live person. btw they verified it was legit but apologized for coming off shady.

  6. I hate when companies do legitimate things that raise scam/phishing red flags. I had this issue with a credit card company once. They had blind links in an e-mail led to a web site where they wanted you to login in or verify something.

    Good rule of thumb is to not reply to their request using the information they give you (whether it's on the phone or in an e-mail) and initiate contact with them using a phone number or web address that you *know* is valid to follow up on whatever the issue is.

    Oh, and the last four digits of your SS# are the most important. If you know where and when somebody was born, you've got a good chance of figuring out the first 5 digits. With the last four, you've got the whole number!