CONSUMER ALERT: Crooks After Cell Phone Accounts

BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Crooks are taking over cell phone accounts, upgrading to new phones and leaving people with "no service".

A woman from Boyd County found that out the hard way earlier this week.

She said it's a frightening situation and one that could cost you thousands if you don't pay attention.

"Just wondered what was going on, how did it happen, just getting really frustrated," said Lynn Stambough.

Stambough has a new sense of awareness after her AT&T Wireless account was compromised.

A text message tipped her off that a man got her information, added his name to her account and upgraded all her lines with three, brand-new, $850 iPhones.

Then she received several e-mails.

"It says "thank you for your purchase here at the Summit Retail Store, I enjoyed helping you"," she said.

The Summit Retail Store is 188 miles west of Stambough's home, in Louisville, Kentucky.

She said the crook bought the phones there.

"Should you have any questions about your service plan, features or simply how to use your equipment, please don't hesitate to call," Stambough said, reading from the e-mail.

She said she picked up her three phones immediately, to find they had no service.

Stambough had to borrow a neighbor's phone to call AT&T's fraud department.

"Made me feel kind of unsafe, you know," she said.

AT&T store workers said the problem has grown recently.

Stambough had to replace SIM cards in her phones to fix them. That day, she was told she was the sixth person with that problem.

"I just don't want it to happen to somebody else," Stambough told WSAZ.com.

She said this experience taught her a lesson.

"If you get a text saying something's changed on your phone, check it out really really quick."

She didn't have to pay for the new phones or the service because AT&T cancelled it.

AT&T hasn't said what will happen to the man who got the phones.

Stambough had some tips for others, including reporting fraud alerts to the major credit agencies, adding more difficult passwords to your accounts and adding a security code to your phone account.


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