Who Paid My Bill? and Why? and with a Bad Check?!

Contributor

Who Paid My Bill? and Why? and with a Bad Check?!

I am, for the most part, posting this for two reasons:

1. To find out something like this has happened to anyone else, and what the outcome was.

2. If there is anyone within this community can help get me the details many have not.

I will try to be as clear and concise as possible, by including the details of the situation, with the hopes of not ending up with a novel.

 

This past April, I decided to change the primary method of payment on my account. I have been an ATT/Cingular/ATT customer since day one (over 15 years), with my 1st phone the classic Nokia brick with classic snake. But I already digress...

I have paid nearly every bill due since then with a credit/debit card or checking account withdraw, via online or mobile app. I don't believe I have paid with a physical check or online check or any type of payment that would be considered "paid by check" in the last 10 years, if at all. Ever.

 

About a week after changing my primary billing info, I receive notification from AT&T via email and text that my bill has been paid in full.

"Hmmm, I'm not positive I set that up, but actually, yeah, maybe I did when I changed my cc on file. Yes, if my bill was due, why wouldn't I?" I thought to myself as I received the notifications (same notifications I get every time my account is settled every month).

But what had me second guessing was strange: a few minutes later I receive multiple successive emails stating that I had "attempted to unlock my wireless device unsuccessfully too many times" and "your device cannot be unlocked remotely at this time, please contact ATT for further assistance." Ok, strange. NOTE: This all happened about 3 or 4 days after the Heartbleed virus story broke. Coincidence? Paranoia? Or was I a victim? One thing I have taken away from all this: Maybe, could be, who knows? At least that’s basically the response I feel I have been getting.

 

Later that day I get on Support Chat and the agent explains its most likely a phishing scam and to not respond, change my password, etc. Also, when logging into my account to see if the bill paid notices were legit (which appeared so as my account now showed a zero balance) it showed my home location as San Jose, CA. Not from San Jose, never been there. A few hours later, back to San Diego, where I actually live.

 

A week after that I get a notice in the mail my account is past due and my service is about to be suspended! Huh? So I do some more investigating (my bank accounts, ATT account, etc) and I find the payment a week ago was paid with a check which had been returned due to insufficient funds. Wait, what? Now I know I wasn't absolutely certain that I actually set up and authorized that payment, but I am POSITIVE I didn't provide a check. 

.So I got on Web Chat support again. I was very stressed as I didn't have the means to pay an extra $200 bill I thought was taken care of, and was worried my phone would be shut off in the meantime. The agent was very nice, helped me postpone the payment to avoid service interruption, and opened a case for a billing investigator to look into. I decided to send letters to ATT Mobility Headquarters in Atlanta and Corporate Headquarters in Dallas with a detailed explanation, supporting documents such as bills, saved ATT support correspondence, reference numbers, etc, with a formal request for an explanation, in writing, of where this payment came from, if it could be fraud related, just anything to shed a little light on this. 

 

Well, to make an already long story a tiny bit longer, I begin to get responses from the various ATT departments, entities, email bots, and whoever else I casted out the wide net to. But the response was the same. We just don't really know. Nobody can tell me how this payment originated. Who is the account holder? What financial institution is it connected with? Is there a canceled physical check? If it was electronic, how is that information verified and maintained, is it maintained, etc? How did this payment reach my account? How was the exact amount due known and provided? And if my account information had been compromised, what do they stand to gain from paying my bill? (even though ultimately the funds were not real) I must say the communication with everyone at ATT, whether over the phone, online, via voicemails left for me, etc., acted professionally and courteously. But they all had the same essential answer: We can't help you.

Can anybody?

Message 1 of 3 (2,027 Views)
Employee

Re: Who Paid My Bill? and Why? and with a Bad Check?!

     I am so sorry that you experienced someone paying your bill with a bad check. Smiley Sad OMG! This is a sign of fraud. This is what happened. Whoever did this, was trying to get a phone unlocked. When you are trying to get the device unlocked, the bill has to be paid in full. Apparently they were in it just for the phone so, they didn't pay it with a valid account. This is in the sim fraud family and is definitely wrong. Why they picked you? We would not know that because in today's world people are doing a lot of random things to gain what they want. 

     Here is the solution that you have been waiting for. I want you to contact us directly on this one. Ask to speak with our fraud team because you were a victim of fraud because whoever paid on your account was only trying to unlock their device so, your number and account was used and paid with the bad check. This way fraud can investigate the issue. 

     Please try to revive those emails that you received from us as this information is stamped. When you speak to fraud, say exactly what I stated, "your account was used to just get a device unlocked. Apparently they could not have been customers because, the requirements are the following to have a phone unlocked:

AT&T will unlock an AT&T Mobile Device under the following circumstances:

  • The person requesting the unlock must be one of the following:
    • a current AT&T customer
    • a former AT&T customer who can provide the phone number or account number for the account
  • The AT&T Mobile Device was designed for use on AT&T's network.
  • The AT&T Mobile Device has been paid for in full.
  • The AT&T Mobile Device has not been reported lost or stolen

     What is a device unlock? This means they were trying to use a AT&T phone on a different network. A lot of people also go overseas and use a different provider so, they have to have the phone unlocked. 

     The fishy thing is if the account was current at the time, it was not necessary to make a payment to cause your account to be past due. But people that do not operate with integrity do not think the harm they are doing when they do things like this because they are out for personal gain.

     I cannot stress enough how important this is to speak to our fraud team. We make sure things are tracked so, they will be able to investigate the issue. Based off of the information you provided, this may be someone close to you as they logged into your account. This is just an assumption. Fraud will be able to tell you more.

 

This hits the nail on the head so, now you can get this addressed. Just a disclaimer, sometimes when people are out for personal gain, they are untraceable but, our AT&T fraud team will be able to handle this!

 

Have a wonderful evening!

Employee Contributor*
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 2 of 3 (1,959 Views)
Highlighted
ACE - Professor

Re: Who Paid My Bill? and Why? and with a Bad Check?!


glausr wrote:

I am, for the most part, posting this for two reasons:

1. To find out something like this has happened to anyone else, and what the outcome was.

2. If there is anyone within this community can help get me the details many have not.

I will try to be as clear and concise as possible, by including the details of the situation, with the hopes of not ending up with a novel.

 

This past April, I decided to change the primary method of payment on my account. I have been an ATT/Cingular/ATT customer since day one (over 15 years), with my 1st phone the classic Nokia brick with classic snake. But I already digress...

I have paid nearly every bill due since then with a credit/debit card or checking account withdraw, via online or mobile app. I don't believe I have paid with a physical check or online check or any type of payment that would be considered "paid by check" in the last 10 years, if at all. Ever.

 

About a week after changing my primary billing info, I receive notification from AT&T via email and text that my bill has been paid in full.

"Hmmm, I'm not positive I set that up, but actually, yeah, maybe I did when I changed my cc on file. Yes, if my bill was due, why wouldn't I?" I thought to myself as I received the notifications (same notifications I get every time my account is settled every month).

But what had me second guessing was strange: a few minutes later I receive multiple successive emails stating that I had "attempted to unlock my wireless device unsuccessfully too many times" and "your device cannot be unlocked remotely at this time, please contact ATT for further assistance." Ok, strange. NOTE: This all happened about 3 or 4 days after the Heartbleed virus story broke. Coincidence? Paranoia? Or was I a victim? One thing I have taken away from all this: Maybe, could be, who knows? At least that’s basically the response I feel I have been getting.

 

Later that day I get on Support Chat and the agent explains its most likely a phishing scam and to not respond, change my password, etc. Also, when logging into my account to see if the bill paid notices were legit (which appeared so as my account now showed a zero balance) it showed my home location as San Jose, CA. Not from San Jose, never been there. A few hours later, back to San Diego, where I actually live.

 

A week after that I get a notice in the mail my account is past due and my service is about to be suspended! Huh? So I do some more investigating (my bank accounts, ATT account, etc) and I find the payment a week ago was paid with a check which had been returned due to insufficient funds. Wait, what? Now I know I wasn't absolutely certain that I actually set up and authorized that payment, but I am POSITIVE I didn't provide a check. 

.So I got on Web Chat support again. I was very stressed as I didn't have the means to pay an extra $200 bill I thought was taken care of, and was worried my phone would be shut off in the meantime. The agent was very nice, helped me postpone the payment to avoid service interruption, and opened a case for a billing investigator to look into. I decided to send letters to ATT Mobility Headquarters in Atlanta and Corporate Headquarters in Dallas with a detailed explanation, supporting documents such as bills, saved ATT support correspondence, reference numbers, etc, with a formal request for an explanation, in writing, of where this payment came from, if it could be fraud related, just anything to shed a little light on this. 

 

Well, to make an already long story a tiny bit longer, I begin to get responses from the various ATT departments, entities, email bots, and whoever else I casted out the wide net to. But the response was the same. We just don't really know. Nobody can tell me how this payment originated. Who is the account holder? What financial institution is it connected with? Is there a canceled physical check? If it was electronic, how is that information verified and maintained, is it maintained, etc? How did this payment reach my account? How was the exact amount due known and provided? And if my account information had been compromised, what do they stand to gain from paying my bill? (even though ultimately the funds were not real) I must say the communication with everyone at ATT, whether over the phone, online, via voicemails left for me, etc., acted professionally and courteously. But they all had the same essential answer: We can't help you.

Can anybody?


This doesn't really help you right now, but for future reference, and in case anyone else comes across this thread: If you receive any strange communication from AT&T, double check. If you do not remember making a payment AT&T says you made, check your AT&T account and your bank account to make sure you actually made the payment. 

 

In your case, I'd recommend sending a private message to AT&T customer care using the link below.

 

 https://forums.att.com/t5/notes/privatenotespage/tab/compose/note-to-user-id/192773

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 3 of 3 (1,887 Views)
Share this topic
Announcements

Welcome to the AT&T Community Forums!!! Stop by the Community How-To section for tips on how to get started.