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Scammers posing as cable and satellite providers to push for 'equipment upgrades'

Scammers posing as cable and satellite providers to push for 'equipment upgrades'
Posted at 9:11 AM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 12:11:01-04

If your cable or satellite bill is pushing $200 or more a month, you'll probably be interested in any way to lower it.

That's why many are perking up after getting calls this month about lowering their cable or satellite TV bill.

The only problem: in most cases, it is not a legitimate offer.

For Charlotte Harrison, Dish Network is her connection with the world, at her home.

"I don't have an outside antenna, so I have to depend on Dish," she said.

So when Dish Network called, informing Harrison she needed to upgrade her equipment, she listened. The man said it would lower her bill $40 a month, something that interested her.

At first, she says, the caller said it was optional, but then his tone changed.

"He said we are going to cut you off if you don't do this. He said I have to send that check out today, or they were going to cancel my service," Harrison said.

The caller wanted her to mail $149 to a post office box in New Mexico.

"I said, 'Why can't you put it on my regular bill?'" Harrison wondered. "He said no, I had to send that check out today."

"I think it's awful, because it scared me," she said. "They said I need to do this so I don't lose my TV."

Why you should say no to calls

The call turned out to be a slick scam, and it is not just targeting Dish customers.

People who subscribe to DirecTV and cable have also reported receiving similar calls from people claiming to be from their provider about lowering their bill.

Last year, Jackie Wikinson said she got a similar call about her cable equipment, from what showed up on her Caller ID as Spectrum cable.

"He asked if I want to save money," Wilkinson said. "Naturally, in this day and age, who doesn't want to save money."

Same scam, different day

Don't let this happen to you.

  • Satellite and cable providers will never call you about lowering your bill.
  • They will never ask for an upfront payment for an upgrade.
  • Any upgrade in channels or equipment should be added to your next bill.

Harrison's daughter Tiffany is just glad her mom got suspicious.

"It is wrong, it's very wrong," she said.

If you want to lower your bill, give your provider a call. That way, you don't waste your money.

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