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On Your Side: Customer in Stockton, Mo. loses nearly $3,000 in bill scam

Published: Dec. 3, 2020 at 6:04 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 3, 2020 at 6:28 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A woman in Stockton was told her TV and phone bill would be free for eight months.

That deal was a lie. She lost thousands. She’s sharing her story in hopes you’ll decline the bogus offer.

“I believed them,” said Mary Sila.

The calls started weeks ago.

“They would say I’m calling from ATT&T Direct TV, we have a promotion going on. We can save you $50 a month on your bill,” Sila said.

She was told the company was in collaboration with eBay. Send some money now and no bills.

“We wouldn’t have any payments for eight months. Then on the ninth month our payment would drop down to $65 a month and it would be there for three years. I thought that sounds great, why not?” Sila said.

She was instructed to buy $520 worth of eBay gift cards. Then share the numbers on the back. There was a problem.

“They couldn’t process the cards because they were from two different vendors,” she said.

She bought more. And was told -- they’d throw in a $100 VISA gift card.

“They just kept sweetening the pot. I just kept getting sucked in there,” she said.

She bought $2960 dollars in gift cards. She got a $4,000 check that appeared to be from Direct TV. She was suspicious. She called Direct TV and was told there’s no promotion.

“I was so ashamed I let that happen to us when we worked so hard for our money,” she said.

Sila filed a complaint with the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission.

Never make a payment with a gift card.

Call the company directly to confirm a promotion before you give any personal information.

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