Satellite TV Scam Targets Hispanics in the United States

According to RapidTVNews, a scam involving DIRECTV service is targeting Hispanics in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, after similar scams have been pulled throughout other parts of the United States where there is a large Hispanic population. Fraudsters are currently offering a DIRECTV subscription for only $365 per year ($1 a day) which includes sports tiers, Spanish-language channels, and a free preview of premium channels. This is far below the average monthly or annual price for DIRECTV service offered residentially, which is often around $50 per month to begin.

This too-good-to-be true deal fooled resident Miguel Farjardo, who was already a DIRECTV subscriber. He figured as a customer he was being rewarded for his loyalty, and several channels were unlocked in his service after the call. He was bilked out of the $365 up front, but none of the money ever made it to DIRECTV. Adding further to the mystery is how the caller was able to unlock channels for him, as the customer said he never gave his DIRECTV account number. Consumer watchdogs and DIRECTV officials believe social engineering, when a clever scammer can elicit personal information from the party they are scamming with leading questions, is to blame. Farjardo was out of more than a week’s pay because of this scam.

Hispanic customers are often the target of these sorts of scams because they want to upgrade to package tiers that include Spanish language channels and international sports, and because English as a second language makes the scammer’s job easier.

DIRECTV has made it clear that this deal in no way originated with DIRECTV. Customers who already have DIRECTV service rarely receive phone calls about upgrades, and should be careful if they do, as these scams are out there. Hispanic customers in particular should beware.

Check back often to see how this is resolved at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog.

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