Beware of Scam Involving “Mistake” AT&T iPhone Orders

July 6, 2023 / Comments Off on Beware of Scam Involving “Mistake” AT&T iPhone Orders

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MNA has gotten word of an alarming and elaborate scam that has hit at least three Montana nonprofits, and could cost your nonprofit thousands of dollars.

The essence of the scam is this: imposters open an AT&T account using your nonprofit’s Tax ID number. Then they order new iPhones and have them shipped to your office. After the phones are delivered, you receive a call from the scammers posing as AT&T, saying that they shipped the phones by mistake and asking you to send them back. A UPS courier arrives with a pre-paid shipping label to pick up the phones, which are taken not back to AT&T, but to the scammers. They get the iPhones, you get the bill for thousands of dollars worth of merchandise you didn’t order.

How can this happen?

Part of the problem is that nonprofit’s tax ID numbers are publicly available on 990 forms. Because AT&T only requires a tax ID number to open an account, it’s easy for a scammer to open an account in your nonprofit’s name without any other form of verification.

Signs to watch out for

  1. Calls from AT&T about your new account, which you don’t remember opening
  2. Delivery of expensive tech gadgets you don’t remember ordering
  3. A call from someone saying they’re with AT&T asking for you to send the phones back

What to do if this happens to you

If you get a delivery of phones you didn’t order, DON’T give them back to the courier who comes to pick them up. They may be from UPS, posing as UPS, or another service. The important thing is to keep the phones in your possession and get them back to AT&T directly.

Call AT&T directly, instead of answering their call. Tell them what’s happening. Remember – you can’t be sure you’re talking to AT&T unless you’re the one who made the call. Beware of calls from scammers posing as AT&T or UPS.

File a police report. You’ll need this to be sure you’re not on the hook for the cost of the phones or any other charges that might be posted to your new, unwanted AT&T account.