NewsCovering Kern County


Phone scam hits Kern County residents

Scammers pretend to be AT&T employee
Posted at 5:38 PM, Mar 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-01 20:51:14-05

A phone scam is targeting Kern County residents and other areas Thursday. Scammers have been pretending to be AT&T representatives and are asking for social security numbers over the phone.

23ABC spoke to a resident who received the call and police to find out more about how this scam is impacting people at home.

"Well yesterday morning I received a call and it struck me because the caller I-D showed my number calling myself," Bakersfield Resident Kelly Gibling said.

Many across Kern County received a similar call this week just like the one Gibling heard yesterday,"It was a recorded message saying this is AT&T your account has been flagged for fraudulent activity,"Gibling said.

Gibling has a Verizon phone but she has other ties to AT&T, which almost made her give her information away before hanging up, "I have other AT&T accounts so it kind of got me a little bit worried."

Immediately after the call Gibling took to social media and found others like her who experienced the same thing and not just people from Kern County.

"I had people from San Diego, I had someone from LA who said that it happen to them too." Gibling said.

Stallion Springs Police in Kern County also told 23ABC that they received over 40 calls this week about the same incident. Bakersfield Police Department (BPD) heard from five other residents in Bakersfield.

However, If you do get this call, "Contact your local AT&T store especially if you have an AT&T service provider for your cellular phone and call them and ask them if that’s legitimate. More than likely it's not going to be, but don’t provide personal information especially your social security information over the phone," Sergeant Kroeker of BPD said.
AT&T told 23ABC that they deal with phishing scams a lot in their industry and recommend consumers to visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website and the AT&T support link for tips and suggestions. The FTC website recorded over 340,000 reports of similar imposter scams just since 2017.

Gibling is just hoping her experience is a warning and a reminder for others, "I'm hoping that people will be very vigilant in checking things out before they just give out information."

If you would like to track scams happening in your area you can visit the Better Business Bureau scam tracker website.