AT&T Says One Of Its Service Providers Hacked Illegally Into Connecticut Customers’ Accounts

Copyright CtWatchdog 2012

AT&T is now admitting that one of its service providers hacked illegally into at least five Connecticut customers’ accounts.

The admission, in a  letter Thursday to the Connecticut Attorney General’s office, comes after months of denial by AT&T that it could have had anything to do with two security breaches of a Winsted woman’s AT&T account, which was used to purchase five iPhones through fraud.

Not only did AT&T officials – including members of its fraud division – deny that possibility, they attempted to blame Apple employees for the breaches  and then treated the customer rudely, telling Denise Jones to stop raising questions about her fraud and to stop asking for copies of its internal investigation report, which had apparently been completed weeks ago.

“We just spoke with Ms. Jones again,” AT&T spokeswoman Kate MacKinnon wrote me in an email Dec. 22 after we had numerous conversations about this issue.

“We reiterated that all of our evidence (conducted by our trained fraud investigators) has proven conclusively that this crime was definitely not committed by a person inside our company. In addition to crediting all of the fraudulent charges, we offered her a substantial good faith credit.

“For your background – none of the fraudulent charges occurred at an AT&T store.”

She said that Jones was incorrectly told earlier in December that it was an AT&T person who hacked her account.

“The operator that alluded to this being an inside job has since told their supervisor (through the course of the investigation) that they spoke without any basis in fact. We have apologized to Ms. Jones for that.”

MacKinnon told me I would have to write a retraction if I wrote a story insinuating that AT&T was to blame, hinting that it was someone close to Jones who hacked her account.


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12 Comments on "AT&T Says One Of Its Service Providers Hacked Illegally Into Connecticut Customers’ Accounts"

  1. Dorothy Wright | March 9, 2012 at 6:35 am |

    I am from Georgia and recieve your newsletter and read this security breach by at&t. We have Uverse which was sold to us as having a firewall and Email security which is a lie. I constantly have security breaches reported to me by Symantic, Norton 360. My neighbors are on the internet with me and shut off the internet for me when they disagree with my politica. When I sign in to my email it shows it is locked and safe and yet it is not because they pawn us off to yahoo. I tried to sign into a Human Rights website and I could not because they said I have a yahoo account already. I do not as I have an email. A new yahoo account for that group chat was impossible because of this. The fact that I am not allowed a new yahoo email to belong to this group made me investigate why and found my email is not protected as they told us it would be. We were sold wireless internet,TV and phone and told we would have a firewall and fully protected which proved to be a lie. Welcome to not being told the real truth at Att.

  2. I know for a fact that At&t, verizon and sprint are ripping people off. I purchased all three phones with internet access. By law you have 30 days to return the phones for poor service. They manipulate your service for 30 days allowing it to work better then cut your service right after your first payment. Why is this legal? why does our country ask there corrupt opinion on security? Why is WiMax not an option on all devices it works perfect & fast and its more secure? Why the monopoly of cell phone wireless controlled internet access technology????THE STATE NEEDS TO LOOK INTO THIS ASAP!

  3. Bob Trotta | March 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm |

    Is there ANYONE in the state of CT or even this country that is surprised by these ANTICS from AT&T? Give me back my good old SNET!


    When something like this happens or someone’s credit card is compromised through no fault of their own, do we have the right to get copies of the “internal investigation” to see what they have done? As far as the credit card companies are concerned, I don’t think they investigate anything!

  4. I’ll tell you what, AT&T is lying. I had a text sent to me and a reply sent back accepting the charges, without me even being near my cell phone. When I called AT&T they told me because my account has “unlimited text” that anyone can text me including these types of companies. When I researched the company that sent the text and it was the same company that replied back, I found that the company “Motorcity” was the owner of Gold Pocket Wireless which newly purchases SMS and works directly with the wireless companies to send out campaigns in hopes that people do not catch the charges. I told AT&T the only way a company can do that is if they (AT&T) sold my number. I knew they sold my number because I can’t seem to locate a cell number when I want to so how can these people do it. I also knew that it had to be someone in their company who took off the “blocker” and allowed this company who sends “campaigns” for wirelss companies to send a text then access my phone and accept that text. Thus, if I didn’t catch this, I would be charged 9.99 per month for 3 messages. At&T then told me to put a “download purchase blocker” on my phone. I told AT&T I already had one on our phones and since they no longer showed that, I knew they (AT&T) were the colprits to this whole thing and I was going to report them to the FCC.

  5. Here’s another lie they tell the customer to report it to the police then they won’t give any information to the police. This happens all the time and they hide behind “privacy”. What a scam. A law needs to be passed to compel phone companies to release without a subpoena information like this so it can be investigated and people involved arrested.

  6. My AT&T records were hacked, stolen and misused by S**tha who lives in India and works for a MNC company.

    Later, I started to look for any possible connection between the MNC company where she works and AT&T.

    I found out that AT&T has provided the Best Service Provider to the company where she works.

  7. Jersey Person | August 7, 2012 at 8:29 am |

    My cell account was hacked – upgraded phones, added new person to account & changed e-mail address on my account. Fraud Dept will not tell me where this happened. Said it is a police matter. Police told me they must get a supena to get information. Sill don’t know how they got my SS# or what form of ID they walked into Apple store with.

    • We Can't Believe This | January 7, 2017 at 9:24 am |

      The SAME has happened to my relative in GEORGIA.

      Explaining this to the Police, they looked at her like she was CRAZY!

      The original PRIME SUSPECTS were and STILL ARE neighbors – who walked up to her front door and starred at her Security Camera, which we believed was to get the Brand Name, afterwards, they turned and left. No knock, no ringing door bell, no nothing! BUT, either they ARE, or HAVE WORKED FOR OR currently employed there OR have connections with someone INSIDE AT&T, because of the conflicting info AT&T has.

      Reporting to the Police, they gave discouraging comment saying, “They doubt IF anyone had the costly equipment to do this” – BUT – also attempting to Report this to AT&T and their Fraud Dept. has become a nightmare.

      Either cannot get through to AT&T via house phone, cell phone OR any other phone AWAY FROM the area, once the Inquired on Phone Number, Address or Name is given, the GAMES really start.

      Disconnected, Re-Directed, Not sure if they are actually speaking with a legit AT&T Rep., OR ultimately told they (AT&T) cannot provide any info because the Callers name, address, number OR SS# does not correspond to the inquired upon phone numbers, etc.

      Credit Reporting Agencies have been contacted and Accounts Frozen – HOWEVER, suspicious small amounts have been attached to places where my relative have an open account. The Store cannot explain, doesn’t know who or how this happened- BUT – everywhere this has happened, a certain “known neighbor” is seen coming/going or nearby. Still, their connection can’t be proven because it is a small town and sooner or later everyone is going to be at the same place at the same time – BUT- it’s become more than a strange coincidence.

      Closed/Changed Bank Accounts but soon afterwards the Pin Number no longer works. Taped Footage from Home Camera (Security)has been ERASED right before my relatives eyes!!! Viewed thru the TV, which the TV Settings are often suspiciously CHANGED! Locked out of Email, Passwords changed, Computer/Router Security Changed, Cell Phone Settings Changed, turns off & on BY ITSELF, non-requested & downloaded Apps on Cell Phone added, removed but added again.

      Yes, it’s a MAD HOUSE!
      And, NO ONE can tell, explain, identify, accept a Legal. Official Written or Verbal Complaint.

      IF my relative is able to talk with AT&T to request a Technician to come out( remember, not sure IF it’s really AT&T) they NEVER come WHEN SCHEDULED…..hours later, a day or two later OR UNANNOUNCED, they show up….DO NOTHING except look busy, with one telling her, ” What YOU NEED TO DO is leave this stuff alone”.

      My relative is over-whelmed, in disbelief, discouraged, afraid and not thinking clearly. Whoever is doing this has practically killed their Business with FAKE CALLS to their Business requesting FAKE ESTIMATES & SERVICES, which is how my relative makes their Income, as their Cell Phone & Computer is their Primary Method used for their Business.

      I advised my relative to ASK FOR ID if and when a Tech shows up and many other things, however, it’s gotten out of control and my relative is feeling helpless.

      IF anyone has any helpful info on what can be done- it sure will be appreciated.

  8. The Ceo of AT&T had his latch key employee hacked my computers and took 3 offline all because I filed an FCC report of thier deceptive account billing.
    They took my main computer offline while emailing my doctor about my problems with my prescrption medication. I’m disabled and need my computer to communicate with my doctor.

    The Patriot Act states they must have a search warrant to hack any United States of America citizen computers.
    AT&T is out of control and needs to be split up into individual companys.

  9. My AT&T wireless account was hacked in July. Just realized it today, Sept 24th. Someone was able to purchase an upgraded phone, changed my mailing address and had the equiptment sent out of town. Changed my email address as well. AT&T credited the two months charges (bill I never received) and changed all of my info back to the original state. BE ALERT. I googled “how to hack into wireless accounts” and came up with pages of software you can download. OK….WHAT IS GOING ON THAT PEOPLE PUBLISH THIS STUFF AND NO ONE TAKES NOTICE????????

  10. Charlene Brassfield | October 20, 2012 at 10:08 am |

    Yesterday I received a bill from ATT for 260 dollars for two brand new cell phones and service in my name. The phones were purchased in Georgia at a Target store. I live in California and have not had an ATT wireless account since porting became available (8 years ago??)No credit check is evidenced on my credit report. When I called ATT fraud dept, they did a one minute “investigation check”, she came back on and said she needed two or three more minutes. When she returned she told me I was a victim of identity theft. I was not responsible for the charges and I should call all three credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert on my accounts, which I did. I called the sheriffs dept and made a report.I also checked my credit report and did not see an inquiry from ATT. After the shock of this, I called ATT again and asked how this happened, how someone can open an account accross the country, with a california billing address without a credit check? She informed me it occured at a Target store. I again asked how this can happen, she went to get a manager who told me that the department I need to speak with does not speak to customers. Upon filling out an FTC complaint, I called ATT once more to request the contract documents, which they told me I need a court or law enforcement subpoena for. I have filed my complaint with the FTC and will be compiling my file. Curiously I checked Target’s website this morning and ATT’s upgrade eligibility option or any option to purchase or open a new account and all ATT cell phone purchasing is “temporarily unavailable”.Best Buy’s ATT mobile service on their website is fully functioning. Why is ATT not doing due diligence in regard to their vendors to protect customer’s information?? Any kid who gets a job at Target has access to my ATT information? Had a credit check been performed I would have been notified right away with my Identity Fraud Protection membership through Discover Card,and I could have stopped this but this account was opened without a credit check being performed. Any comments or help is greatly appreciated.

  11. I live in California and just got hacked last week by someone calling in pretending to be one of our account users, added a new name (Alexander Cherepanov) as an authorized user, then that person went into an Apple store in the Danbury mall in Connecticut and upgraded two of the lines and (i’m assuming) walked out with two discounted iPhones. I got all this info by pressing a number of AT&T fraud reps who were very insistent that it was my problem that someone had gotten my social # and names on the account BUT went VERY QUIET when I mentioned this wonderful article. I think it’s quite a coincidence that my case also took place in CT. Thanks for all your hard work reporting this! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

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