Bell Atlantic Warns Customers of Collect Calling Scam

Bell Atlantic Warns Customers of Collect Calling Scam

Con Artist Seeking Calling Card PINs

Oct. 13, 1999



Jack Hoey, 617-743-3677


Mike Pequignot, 413-731-8606


Peter Reilly, 207-797-1335

BOSTON -- A con artist using an old telephone scam is at work in the
Springfield, Mass. and Bangor, Maine areas, Bell Atlantic today warned
its customers.

Some already have unwittingly accepted collect calls and provided the
personal identification numbers (PINs) for their telephone calling cards to
a con man who is using the information to make long-distance calls.
Those who give out their calling card information to this man could find
these unauthorized long-distance calls on their phone bills.

The scam artist is identified as a male calling from New York City area
pay phones. He is randomly making collect calls to customers and claims
he is a Bell Atlantic employee. He then tries to obtain personal
information such as the customer's calling card PIN number.

"Bell Atlantic never calls customers collect and we never ask for
PIN numbers," said Dave Fisher, manager of Bell Atlantic's Fraud
Prevention Center. "If a collect caller claims he is from Bell
Atlantic, customers should hang up immediately. If for some reason they
accept the call, they should never give out their PIN number for their
calling card, or any other personal information."

While the con man is initially targeting Springfield and Bangor, all Bell
Atlantic customers should be aware of this scam, Fisher said. Customers
are asked to report any incidents to the Bell Atlantic 24-hour Fraud
Prevention Center 1-800-745-6989.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines
and nearly 10 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic
companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data
services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest
publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also
among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications
markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.