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Extreme weirdness w/ AT&T asking if we "know" people!

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posted on Sep, 12 2010 @ 09:58 PM
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Had something very weird happen a while back when my roommate tried to buy an international calling card from AT&T, and I'd like to know if it's standard procedure. It was really odd because it happened at a time when I was doing research on Wikileaks.

My roommate and I were planning a trip abroad and had to buy an international calling card to make a phone call to a friend in Australia. We purchased it from the AT&T website with a debit card. Got a pop-up that said the order was "being processed" and we should receive an email within 2 hours, with a PIN to use. Closed that window, tried to go to another web page, and the browser immediately crashed. Restarted the computer, and got an error message saying we need to do a repair install of Windows Vista. So, we checked his email on another computer...4 hours later, still no PIN. But my roommate's bank acct showed the AT&T charge pending...THIS IS WHERE IT GETS WEIRD...

So, he calls AT&T to complain, and eventually they give him a PIN, but they make him answer a bunch of questions of the variety "Do you know such-and-such person?" I asked my roommate WHO, like "do you know Osama Bin Laden?" -- and he said no, he didn't recognize any of the names at all. I wish he had written them down! But he is much less paranoid than I am, and just shrugged it off.

Why is AT&T making people answer questions about whether they "know" certain people before letting them use international calling cards?? Or are they just asking US for some reason? Neither one of us has any criminal record. It just seems like weird harassment - is this some standard procedure I'm not aware of? It reminds me of that old 60s movie where the phone company secretly rules the world.

ANYONE ELSE IN THE U.S. BOUGHT AN INTERNATIONAL CALLING CARD RECENTLY???

Did they ask you questions about whether you "know" certain people? Is this just normal procedure these days??




posted on Sep, 12 2010 @ 10:05 PM
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Do you mean that they actually asked him if he knew "osama bin laden" or was this just a random example?? I'm not sure if you were serious about this part

Edit : sorry I was being slow I get your post now



edit on 12-9-2010 by davespanners because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2010 @ 10:14 PM
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I'm going to go with the only explanation I can think of for this behavior from AT&T, this is just completely from the top of my head so.......

Maybe you had a trojan on the PC that they sent the PIN code to (which caused the strange behavior / crashing you described), the pin code was compromised and the international calling card was then used to call a number of people "the names that they asked about". The person at AT&T was checking that your friend had not made these calls so as not to charge him for them

Just a shot in the dark though



posted on Sep, 12 2010 @ 10:16 PM
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All that went on with your computer after going to this site is weird enough - and then to top if off AT @ T asking if you know people - sounds like a scam of some type to me, using AT@T's name. I would make a call to AT@T using another source for the phone number. Tell them what happened and see what they have to say.. Also can you cancel the payment pending in your account? This just all sounds not right to me. Good luck and let us know how it goes.



posted on Sep, 12 2010 @ 10:53 PM
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reply to post by crazydaisy
 


crazydaisy makes a good point, where did you get the telephone number that you called AT&T on, was it from the same email that gave you the pin?



posted on Sep, 12 2010 @ 10:54 PM
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i would think that it was some kind of trojan, and that it was to to load up something on the computer.
all the questions from att are about id theft.
better cancel debit card
better do a virus check and make sure they are not trying to do any more phishing.
better check your security soft ware.


edit on 12-9-2010 by hounddoghowlie because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2010 @ 10:57 PM
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Another thought, I once had a credit card stolen and when i reported it they did ask me questions along the same lines as the ones you are reporting, but it was more "did you go to the Texaco garage in Islington last Wednesday"
It was to check if someone had been using my card after I had lost it, which indeed they had


edit on 12-9-2010 by davespanners because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2010 @ 10:59 PM
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At&T has been cozy with the NSA for decades.


an NSA agent showed up at the San Francisco switching center in 2002 to interview a management-level technician for a special job. In January 2003, Klein observed a new room being built adjacent to the room housing AT&T’s #4ESS www.homelandstupidity.us...


I



posted on Sep, 12 2010 @ 11:22 PM
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Could it have been a security question? I know there are certain questions you have to answer in order to prove to a company, who you are. I have that set up on my Bank of America account (and Pay Pal etc) but.......they shouldn't be asking YOU the answer rather, they should be asking YOU the question. Then, you answer them!

Does your roommate remember who they were asking about? Did he/she even question them as to why they were asking thess personal questions? I know if that were me, it would be a natural response for me to ask them their intent and why they were asking.

I think something's left out here. Not saying you're doing that deliberately but maybe there's an oversight to this story?



posted on Sep, 12 2010 @ 11:31 PM
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Hmmm well, i just walk into my local convenience store and get one there. Cheap enough and i dont need to know anyone...All i need is hard cash.

Are things getting crazier or is it just me.



posted on Sep, 12 2010 @ 11:34 PM
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Originally posted by davespanners
I'm going to go with the only explanation I can think of for this behavior from AT&T, this is just completely from the top of my head so.......

Maybe you had a trojan on the PC that they sent the PIN code to (which caused the strange behavior / crashing you described), the pin code was compromised and the international calling card was then used to call a number of people "the names that they asked about". The person at AT&T was checking that your friend had not made these calls so as not to charge him for them

Just a shot in the dark though



This sounds absolutely possible and plausible. I would say you probably cracked the case.

That card was probably used (while your computer was taking a dump) and calls where placed to the people who......were later asked about by ATT.
They probably wanted to know if your friend had any connection to Billy Bob over in Buffalo and Peter Piper in Pennsylvania because in reviewing your claim, things looked suspicious to them because the calls were placed moments after purchasing it.
Your friend may have explained to them (at some point) that this card was going to be used internationally in a day or so not within moments of buying it.

If this is the case then ATT should be applauded.




edit on 12-9-2010 by Human_Alien because: correction




edit on 12-9-2010 by Human_Alien because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2010 @ 11:59 PM
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reply to post by burdenofdreams
 




I wish he had written them down


So repeat the process and write the names down. Order a card, wait four hours, and then call them and say you never received a pin.

Let us know what the names are.



posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 06:55 PM
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When it happened, my roommate just answered "no" to the list of names, shrugged it off as vaguely odd, and told me about it after he hung up. I was in the room with him while this was going on, but couldn't hear AT&T's end of the conversation. And AT&T didn't claim that he had used the card, they claimed that his credit card payment had not gone through (though it was already on his online bank account statement) and they made him give them the number for the card again over the phone. The phone number he called was definitely AT&T, and the pin email came from AT&T. The URL we used to buy a card online is: www.consumer.att.com.... I actually made him get an AT&T card specifically because I was afraid that the other calling card companies out there, which I was not familiar with, might be scams.

So, it doesn't sound like anyone else was trying to use it, if his payment had not gone through according to AT&T (though he checked his bank account and made sure he was only charged once, despite having to give his card number twice). The whole thing just seemed like some weird stalling tactic, though I'm not sure the reasons for it. My roommate is not the "tin foil hat type," at ALL, and absolutely hates things like...for instance, this website.=) He got the impression that what was going on was some sort of normal, post-9/11 security check on every U.S. citizen who buys an international calling card, which he felt was "completely understandable." I've just never seen a similar story/complaint, so I felt more like he/we were being targeted for some reason as troublemakers. (Guess I shouldn't quote Karl Marx on the Internets, even as a joke..........?)



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