What you thought was “Junk Email” may require a closer look. We are all becoming numb to the amount of spam and phishing attempts we receive in our Inboxes, both at work and home, but we should not ignore everything and automatically hit delete. I want to share a personal experience that I hope is helpful.
Last week I received a personal email from Xfinity Mobile with the “Subject: We got your order”. Yeah right, another scam to see if my current cable provider can get me to join their service or if a phisher can get me to click a link and give up my Social Security number. But this was different. The return email address was legitimate, the phone number for Xfinity was correct, and it included an order number. However, I had not ordered anything.
I went to the website for the Better Business Bureau and submitted a Scam Tracker complaint in the evening. By lunchtime the next day I received a call from the Xfinity Resolutions team along with an email. They have hours between 12 p.m. – 9 p.m. so normal working people can talk to an actual person.
After work I spoke with a helpful team member who had already started the investigation and told me that they had stopped the orders (yes, ‘orders’). He explained to me that because I was a current customer, Xfinity did not issue a credit inquiry, which would have thrown off an Equifax monitoring alert. Thankfully I have credit monitoring as well. He did need to confirm some of my personal information. During this, we found an email address using my full name and a few numbers @Gmail.com was added to my account which has now been removed.
The Xfinity resolution team member was also able to give me the last four digits of the credit card used to pay the taxes on the 5 phones that were ordered under my account. Five phones is the maximum they will allow on any personal order. Thankfully the credit card was not one of mine.
Next I learned that Xfinity will not ship to an alternate address of any existing client. They only ship to your home address and require a signature. At this point I became worried that someone would be watching my mailbox and house. I alerted my neighbors to be on the lookout for suspicious activity and set my security camera on a more aggressive recording schedule.
Luckily nothing else has come from this incident. It taught me to be diligent and to not ignore all spam and phishing emails from companies I have legitimate accounts with. I hope that sharing my experience can help keep you from being a victim of identity theft and similar situations.
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