I was really looking forward to writing a post about how stunned and amazed I was that so many of y'all commented so very kindly on my new profile photo and why I finally updated it however, in Kay's World "the best laid plans of mice and men -- and The Kay -- gang aft agley", to paraphrase Scottish poet Robert Burns.
Instead, I'm issuing a warning to y'all -- hence the above title. Yesterday I got online to pay my utility bills (I've become a paperless kind of gal) and got pretty cranky when my AT&T bill had an extra $36.99 on it. This month is tight as hell as I've mentioned here. I paid the damned bill in bad humor and after I paid the others, I got on the phone to AT&T and hollered about the extra charges. It turns out that they were bogus charges was from a "crammer" and AT&T knows all about them.
And when I called the numbers for the offender that the CSR gave me, I was told that someone gave my phone number and name to get email and fax service. I asked what address they gave and was told that she couldn't give me that. She got an earful as y'all can well believe. She finally gave me the confirmation numbers I needed for AT&T to take them off my bill. I called AT&T back and gave them the info and asked more questions. She credited the $36.99 and told me to report it as identity theft. Yikes!!!!!!!!!!!
I went online and did some checking on this firm -- Enhanced Business Services -- and discovered that in 2001, they were investigated and censured by the Federal Trade Commission. A lot of good that did. You can read about it here and it is still going on today despite agreements to the contrary. I think their corporate officers should be jailed.
I called the Federal Trade Commission and filed a complaint and they in turn told me to contact one of the three major credit bureaus so they could put a security freeze on my accounts and inform the other two who would do the same. It seems they have an agreement to keep each other informed in such cases. I was told to file a complaint with my local law enforcement so guess where I'll be tomorrow morning? I also have to file complaints with the Ohio Public Utilities Commission as well. This is really a lot of work.
Oh yeah, in Ohio it is a minimum 5th degree felony to "intentionally use another person's identifying information to fraudulently obtain credit, property or services." I think these bozos owe me big time but judging from the government's attitude, it won't happen. That they are still in business despite having done the same damned thing before.
How many people people (you?) don't pay attention to a ($10-$15) smallish difference in their phone bill? Since my income is so tight, I do but there was a time when I didn't. They got greedy with me so I went through the roof. By using my listed phone number (my address isn't listed) and last name, they slammed this with AT&T's silent acquiescence. Scary, huh? And given the way my life has been, I really needed more drama. Right. Sigh. And y'all know how much I love dealing with bureaucracy!
I am warning y'all. Watch your phone bills. You could be next!!!!!!!! I'm off to bed and going to pull the covers over my head and ask God to make it all go away. I think running away from home sounds really good but it doesn't fit my budget.