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Suspicious phone bills cause business owner to worry

5:57 PM, Jun 8, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Joe Martin is a small business owner. Martin said his Sprint cell phone is his lifeline to the company and future clients. 

But now, Martin is concerned about the fallout from two suspicious cell phone bills.

"I'm kind of concerned about my credit report," he said.

He said in his 24 years of business, this is the first time he has been the target of what seems like fraud.

"It came out of the blue, I don't know where it came from," said Martin.

What came out of the blue was a wireless phone bill from AT&T for $1,733.41. 

"I have never had an account with AT&T," he said.

He also received a wireless phone bill from Verizon for $1,814.73. 

"It shocked me, I don't even have these kind of phones," said Martin. "I've never had a Verizon phone before."

While the two invoices seem legitimate, the listed phone numbers that are supposed to be associated with his business are not working numbers.

The invoices also lack detail like how many minutes were used. Martin has reported the problem to both AT&T and Verizon but he's afraid that the problem is not going away soon enough.

"I'm not going to pay it and it is going into a credit bureau and I'm gonna have a lower credit score and won't even know it until I try to make a loan or something," said Martin.

Verizon said Martin is not responsible for the charges; AT&T said he will not be held liable and AT&T is looking into the origin of the account.

AT&T spokesperson Gretchen Schultz said threats such as phishing, smishing, cramming and slamming have become widespread.

First For You:

- Examine your bill on a regular basis

- Report problems to your carrier immediately

- If charges involve a third party, dispute them directly with them

- Report continuing problems to the Florida Public Service Commission

First Coast News

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