YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a new scam that is happening involving cable service deals.
BBB’s Scam Tracker is getting reports of scammers impersonating cable company representatives. They claim to offer a great deal on service, but it’s really a way to trick customers into shelling out hundreds of dollars for nothing.
The scammers are getting very convincing, even down to using the same hold music as big-name companies and their caller menu. The “representatives” seem very professional and usually offer a special promotion where you have to pay upfront to receive a monthly discounted rate.
The way they want to be paid is a red flag. Instead of using the payment information from your cable company, they will ask you to purchase prepaid debit cards to make the up-front payment.
How to Avoid the Cable Impersonator Con
- Be cautious when answering unsolicited calls or emails. Legitimate companies that you already do business with may call you, but they won’t pressure you to pay in a new way.
- If someone shows up at your doorstep, verify their identity. If you weren’t expecting a visit, ask the person for their ID and then call your cable company to verify that they are an employee.
- When in doubt, verify special deals with your cable company. If you are unsure about a promotional offer you’ve been presented with, get the customer service number from your cable company’s official website or your latest bill. Call the company directly to make sure the offer is real.
- Never make payments with prepaid debit cards or wire transfers. Scammers prefer these payment methods because there is nothing you can do to get your money back. Unlike debit or credit cards, successful wire transfers and prepaid cards can’t be contested later. Remember, legitimate companies almost always accept checks and credit cards as the primary means of payment.