OKLAHOMA CITY – Judi Smith was floored after discovering a big charge and fees totaling more than $600 on her phone bill.
AT&T told her it was for a 90-minute international call made from her phone to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, or Burma, a small country in Southeast Asia.
She said she has no reason to make an international call adding, “I couldn’t find that on a map without some help.”
Judi called AT&T thinking she was the victim of some sort of phone scam.
She says she went through several customer service reps, all saying they’d help her, but soon after, the blame was put on her.
“They said I probably butt-dialed Burma.”
Judi says that’s not possible because she always makes sure her phone is locked.
She didn’t get anywhere with AT&T’s fraud department either.
They told her it was a legitimate call, and their technology showed someone dialed it from her personal phone.
“And it pinged off a [local] tower, so it has to be from that phone, so she said, ‘I can’t help you, so you’re going to have to pay it.’”
We know smartphones are becoming increasingly easy targets.
We wondered if Judi’s phone or number had somehow been compromised.
We alerted AT&T, and within hours, Judi received a call from the office of the company’s president.
Due to customer privacy, they couldn’t offer an explanation for the outrageous phone charges, but “as a courtesy, AT&T would be providing a one-time credit to Judi’s account.”
That means her balance is back to zero.
The verdict’s still out on this one.
Judi put a lock on all international calls from her cell phone.
We also warned her against using public Wi-Fi around town.
It’s always smart to try to use your private cell connection in public whenever possible.
Also, set a strong passcode on your mobile device, and use caution when downloading apps or anything else from the internet.