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AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile Do Not Care About Identity Theft

Over the weekend I received two text messages from Cattleman’s National Bank informing me that there is a discrepancy with my account:

Cattleman's National Bank Fake Text Message

I promptly alerted AT&T to the problem, but the person I spoke to over the phone said that there is not anything AT&T can do about these messages. They are automatically generated by some system that they have no control over. This morning (Tuesday, January 5th, 2010) I notified Cattleman’s National Bank, and they said that they are aware of these messages going out on Sprint’s, T-Mobile’s, and AT&T’s networks. When I suggested that they work with the phone companies to prevent these obvious phishing attempts from reaching and perhaps duping less aware cell phone users, the bank’s representative said that they have tried, but the different phone companies also told them that there was nothing they could do.

I recognize that I am not fully aware of how the text messaging system works, but is it so open that these companies that legally rob us each month with our data and text messaging plans cannot prevent spam? If all I’m paying them for is a dumb pipe then great, let me have my pipe! But, they’ve acknowledged that our connections aren’t just data pipes, we’re paying for the privilege to be on their networks. Their networks. They control them.

The message from these phone companies is clear: We don’t care about protecting our customers from identity theft.

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2 thoughts on “AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile Do Not Care About Identity Theft

  1. Well, this has been my issue too with the result of over $400 in downloads from third parties and Sprint.com itself. The fraud department at Sprint doesn’t handle downloads only phone call fraud. I am now awaiting a call from an ‘Executive Analyst’. I tipped of Consumerist and the BBB because the problem is two-fold: security and overages. I have yet to receive a satisfactory response from Sprint. Of the third parties: Bango, Big Chilli (K2 Media), Thumbplay, and Gameloft, only Thumbplay has responded appropriately. It’s quite creepy.

  2. Nice to know they care, huh?

    The sad truth is that you can’t really do much about these corporate scumbags. I mean, look at data breaches. Your information resides in thousands of databases nationwide and your information is only as secure as the database it’s in. We’re talking about billions of data points, including Social Security, Driver’s License, Motor Vehicle, Criminal, Civil, Legal, Licensing, Financial, Medical, Marketing, Consumer- there is no way that you and I as individuals can keep up with this information.
    It seems like every week there’s a new story about a security breach in which people’s personal information has been compromised. Data breaches increased 47% between 2007 and 2008, reaching 656 breaches in 2008 alone. MILLIONS of identities have been compromised in these breaches!

    That means (though you may not know it yet) you could already be a victim of Identity Theft, comforting, eh?

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