Dish Network subscribers are starting to get unexpected calls about receiver updates. These are yet another scam, similar to the Xfinity Discount scam. Here’s what you need to know before you get one of these calls:
How The Scam Works
A scammer calls and identifies himself as a Dish Network representative. They’ll claim that the Dish receivers in the house urgently need a software update. “We can send a technician to your home to do this upgrade for $300, or I can walk you through it over the phone for only $199.”
At this point, the victim may object, and the scammer is ready: “But sir, it is just a one-time payment of $199.99. Without this, your TV will soon stop working!” When the victim argues further, the crook may offer to offset their fee by promising $25 discounts for several months on future Dish bills. If the victim still does not cooperate with payment, the scammer may become rude, and claim that he will just shut down the entire satellite service.
It should go without saying: If the crook gets any kind of payment over the phone, they will disappear with the money, and the victim gets… nothing. The “upgrade” was a dog-and-pony show and nothing more.
Why This Scam Is Convincing
This scam has a lot going for it, and has the potential to dupe a lot of people.
- The scammer on the phone already knows your name, address and (obviously) your phone number.
- Your CallerID may be spoofed to show “Dish Networks”.
- They will instruct the victim to press buttons and navigate menus on the Dish receiver/TV with a convincing level of accuracy.
- If the scammer learns your Dish account PIN, s/he may make changes to your account or add discounts to your billing, to “prove” they are a capable Dish rep.
Do’s & Don’ts
- If you find yourself on this kind of call, hang up ASAP. The less you say to the scammer, the better.
- Never antagonize or berate the caller. Remember: They have your address. These crooks can get hostile and the worst-case scenario could result in you getting swatted.
- Don’t volunteer any extra info, especially your Dish account number or PIN. True Dish representatives never ask for this info over the phone.
- To verify any Dish Networks communications, or to report a fraudulent call, call their main number at 1-800-333-DISH or chat them up on their website.
This scam is no longer just affecting Dish customers, but also subscribers of Xfinity, DirecTV and other big TV companies.