Scam Alert!

Published 11:41 am Tuesday, November 15, 2016

AULANDER – A local resident is warning others about a scam involving a satellite tv provider.

According to the victim (whose identity is protected by this newspaper), she received a recent telephone call from a person posing as a representative from Dish Network.

“They called to ask about my satellite tv receiver being used with Dish Network,” she shared. “They ask me to get the remote and push the menu button twice and then give them the information on that page pertaining to the type of receiver that is installed. Then they said I would receive another phone call from Dish within five minutes with a technician telling me whether my receiver needs to have updated software installed.”

She added that the second person calling asked about all the personal information on the account and the four-digit pin number used to access the account.

“These people aren’t from Dish Network. It is a scam,” she stressed.

The second caller informed the potential victim that the receiver is outdated and needs to have software installed over the phone.

“He (the scammer) proceeds to act as if he is updating the receiver and then he will tell you that the update is going to cost $150 that has to be paid for before the upgrade can be finished,” she stressed. “If you don’t pay he said your satellite signal will be turned off and you won’t be able to watch the tv.

“They are able to access the account through the pin number, but I don’t know how they are doing it,” she continued. “They can also tell you all the personal information on the account like how much you pay each month, how long you have been with Dish, and how you pay your bill.”

She said the scammer continues with the ploy, stating that he is a sub contractor and wants to have approval to make the payment right then because Dish has hired him to do the upgrades and the fee is his for upgrading the receivers. “All of this is a lie,” she said. “I called Dish Network and had them verify that they aren’t getting anyone to do any upgrades and the software is updated nightly through their software at no charge. I made them aware that the scam was been done and that their accounts had been hacked into and personal information has been obtained by these people.”

She was able to obtain some information from the scammer. He alleged to be James Strike, working with Goobal Communications in Yonkers, NY.

“I got all this information because I wouldn’t pay for the upgrade and he gave me this so I could send him a check in the mail once I decided I wanted to do the update on my receiver,” she said. “But if I didn’t get the update done, I would no longer have a signal after three days.”

The potential victim said she contacted Dish Network and changed all her personal information.

“I also had to call my bank and get my debit card canceled and a new card ordered to prevent him from cleaning out my banking account. People need to be made aware of this scam as many people have Dish Network and someone is going to fall for this scam and then their account is going to be cleaned out,” she warned.

Upon contacting Dish Network, the local victim was told that this was a case of a receiver update scam.

“In the past, DISH customers have reported being contacted by people who claim to be DISH representatives collecting money for special promotions or upgrades,” stated a representative with Dish Network. “For example, some of these callers have offered DISH customers 50 percent off the normal price of service if they receive an upfront payment via Western Union or Green Dot. They may also ask for DISH account information or personal information, such as security codes, passwords or credit card numbers. These callers are not affiliated with DISH and are not authorized to provide offers.”

Dish Network reminds its customers that they never initiate a telephone call asking for this or any other information that their customers have already provided.

“You may be asked to provide this information when you contact DISH directly to verify that you are authorized to access the account and/or make changes,” the Dish representative stated. “If you receive a call requesting a payment in exchange for a promotion or upgrade, do not provide any information and disconnect the call. If you have any questions, please contact us at 800-333-DISH (800-333-3474), or chat with us online at

Remember you can’t trust Caller ID anymore because this information can be spoofed. “Spoofing” is when scammers have a phone number show up on your caller ID, but it’s not the number they are calling from.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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