EMMETT - An Emmett man is warning of an elaborate scam targeting Dish Network customers. Bill McCarthy says he recently got a call from what he thought was a customer service representative for the satellite TV provider.
His caller ID registered an incoming call showing a Dish Network number, and the person on the phone had some of his financial and customer information, so he didn't think anything was amiss.
The person on the phone told McCarthy that Dish was performing a software update to make his TV signal more reliable. But there was a catch: He needed to pay them $150 for a security deposit, or risk losing his service altogether.
McCarthy talked with three different people on the call - who were posing as a customer service rep, a technician, and a supervisor - before agreeing to pay for the upgrade.
Afterwards, the interaction didn't sit well with McCarthy, so he decided to call Dish Network.
"I spoke to a Dish spokesperson officially," he explained. "They said this is a scam, that a lot of their information had been stolen and that I'm not the one to get tricked."
McCarthy says he was able to cancel his credit card before it was charged. The scammers even called back to try and bully him after he canceled the payment.
KTVB reached out Dish Network to find out how many customers have reported scams, and if customers' information had been compromised in some way. The company did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Emily Valla, a spokesperson with the Better Business Bureau, says scammers are finding more and more creative ways to cheat unsuspecting customers.
"So scammers are very creative, and they like to really make their story believable," Valla said. "So maybe they have multiple people available to make you think that you've been transferred to a manager. Or they will spoof their phone number so what shows up on caller ID looks like it's a legitimate business, but in reality it's a scammmer."
McCarthy said he is not someone who is easily fooled, but the scammers were extremely convincing.
"They were so professional. Especially going from person to person and that just blew me away," McCarthy said. "They knew everything about all my information."
Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can protect your information, and your pocketbook, from scammers. A list of tips from the Better Business Bureau can be found here.