SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A Savannah man is warning about a new kind of scam involving your cable service. Someone is calling and posing as a person who can offer you a deal. They can’t because it’s a lie.
“I got a call on Monday and the gentleman wanted to know if I was interested in saving money on my Comcast bill for the next 24 months, he said they had a special promotion,” James Bolfik told me.
As it turns out it was a promotion for the scam artist calling. It involved a certain way to pay for some of this special promotion, an eBay gift card.
“He said this special offer was being sponsored by eBay to promote their gift cards,” said Bolfik. (Not true either.)
He was instructed to go to a local store and buy the eBay gift card for $240 to pre-pay three months of the promotional offer which was supposedly Comcast services with channels like Starz for $79.99 per month. The caller said this offer was for 24 months without a contract or any other official agreement on the promotional price.
“Seriously, I did want to believe that it was real but I knew it was too good to be true,” said Bolfik.
He never bought the gift card but did take the step of calling an 800 number the caller had given him which the caller claimed was Comcast customer service. Bolfik quickly figured out that wasn’t true.
“I called the number to verify this deal and then I thought ‘Well, I just called the number the guy gave me to call’ so then I tried to find a real number for Comcast,” said Bolfik. “And I finally just went on the internet and was looking for scams and it comes up as one of the scams.
Like all scams, there were a number of red flags for Bolfik to see. First, paying by gift card. If you are ever asked to pay any kind of a bill with a gift card, just think about it. It’s best to hang up the phone.
Secondly, there is always an element of urgency in any scam. That’s to get you to act to get this great deal or bargain and not give you more time to think it through. In this case, the caller told Bolfik if he met a 9 p.m. deadline by supplying information about the eBay card that they would provide Bolfik with another kind of gift card for $50 as part of the promotion. That was a lie as well.
Bolfik says some people may fall for the scam and he simply wanted to issue the warning to tell people to be careful and don’t listen to the caller.
Comcast indicated concerns about this scam and others that may use the company name. It says customers who think they may be a victim should visit their website and that the company has agents who work to detect fraud.
Comcast also indicated it does use telemarketing but wants customers to know the following:
** All calls (that result in conversations) are recorded.
** All numbers dialed (including no answers) are recorded.
** Standard offers are used that are available (to view) on the company’s websites and says customers can always check online for available promotions.
** It said the company strictly adheres to the Not Contact (DNC) lists
It says it has standard scripting that includes:
** Name of the Agent
** Identification as a Comcast employee or agent
** Notice that the call is being recorded