It can be hard to tell real companies from scam artists sometimes. I got a call the other day from T-Mobile about my bill. They had overcharged me by $24 and I was late paying the bill because I wanted it fixed (and, in this economy, they call the day after it's due!). The discussion of why they would possibly think I wanted text messaging turned off on my account when I switched from a BlackBerry to a MyTouch is a topic for another post in the future
The T-Mobile agent who called me asked for part of my social security number to verify that I was who I said I was. I refused. Hey, you called me! How do I know you're not a scam artist? He told me that he was from T-Mobile and I should believe him, that, if I didn't give him my social security number, he couldn't help me. All things a scam artist would say, of course. The fact remains that I had no proof he was who he said he was.
- Never, ever give confidential information to somebody who calls you, even an innocuous thing like an account number. You don't know that they are who they say they are.
- If you call somebody, never, ever ask for confidential information when you call somebody. If you need confidential information, ask them to call you back at a number which is posted prominently on your web site or which is well known (like 1-800-T-MOBILE).