SAN JUAN, P.R. – The United States Secret Service (Secret Service) has received multiple reports that individuals falsely claiming to be customer service representatives of local cell phone providers are calling members of the public as part of a scam to receive personal and financial information, announced United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico strongly encourages the public to remain vigilant and not to provide personal information or access codes during these calls.
Reports received by the Secret Service indicate that these scammers falsely represent themselves as employees of the cell phone provider and attempt to obtain personal information from the call recipient by offering a discount to those that register for auto-pay with ATH Movil. The customer receives a call and is told that the cell phone provider is updating the network from 3G to 5G and also offering a discount off their cell phone bill if they pay using ATH-Movil. Customers are then told that in order to receive the discount, they need to confirm account information.
During the call, the scammer sends an authentication code from the cell phone provider’s website to the customer. The scammer then requests that the customer verbally confirm the code claiming that the scammer needs to confirm the identity of the customer before proceeding to discuss their account information. Once the customer provides the code, the scammer gains access to the customer’s account with the cell phone provider. The scammer now controls the customer’s account, and fraudulently requests that the customer provide their ATH Movil information. Customers are then told to turn off their phones for the changes in the account to take place. During this time, the scammers are able to transfer funds to different bank accounts in Puerto Rico and outside of the jurisdiction and/or make fraudulent purchases using the customer’s information.
Those who receive these calls are encouraged not to provide personal information or access codes during these calls. The public can report these scams to the Secret Service by calling 787-277-1515.