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There’s a troubling trend of fake Dish TV calls making its way across Idaho. Since Sept. 1, your Better Business Bureau has received six local reports to BBB Scam Tracker from consumers who say they received a fake call from Dish Network.

Some of the complaints report the caller informed them they needed to pay for an upgrade to their system. Others state the caller was phishing for personal information. Many times, the caller offers a reduced price for an upgrade or hook-up in order to entice consumers. The scam reports came in from the areas of Blackfoot, Nampa, Middleton and Parma.

One consumer reported the caller said he or she needed to pay $200 to upgrade immediately or he or she would be unable to broadcast. After giving away some of their information, the victim hung up on the scammer and called Dish Network to confirm the call. The company told them it was not associated with their company and had them change their account login information.

If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from a utility company, watch for the following red flags:

Prepaid debit cards and wire transfers:

  • If a caller specifically asks you to pay by prepaid debit card or wire transfer, this is a huge warning sign. Your utility company will accept a check or credit card.

Pressure to pay immediately.

  • Scammers will press for immediate payment and may try to intimidate you into giving them your personal and banking information.

Door-to-door scammers.

  • While these reports were scam calls, it is not uncommon for a fake Dish Network employee to show up at your door.

To protect yourself against this scam:

  • Call customer service. If you feel pressured for immediate action by a caller, hang up the phone and call the customer service number on your utility bill. This will ensure you are speaking to a real representative. Never give your personal or banking information to an unverified or unsolicited caller.
  • Never allow anyone into your home unless you have scheduled an appointment or reported a problem. Also, ask employees for proper identification before letting them enter.

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