Police seeking assistance in identifying suspect.

Scam Involving Satellite Receiver Upgrade

Date: 06/12/19
Contacts: Lieutenant Joe Messerich, (563) 589-4473
                  Assistant Chief Jeremy Jensen, (563) 589-4444

On 06/11/19 a citizen reported an elaborate scam to Dubuque Police involving their Dish Network account.  The tactics used in this scam show some of the extreme lengths a scammer will go to obtain a potential victim’s financial information.  A summary of this scam is as follows:

• The citizen received several phone calls from a subject purporting to be from Dish Network.  The caller knew the citizen’s name and his address.  The caller advised the citizen that his receivers were out of date because of new satellites and they needed an upgrade/software update.  The caller ID showed the number was from Dish Network, however, it was later found to be spoofed. 

• The caller advised the citizen needed to pay a company called “Sat-Pros” a one-time payment of $199.99 for the software update.  The caller explained that to help with the cost, Dish Network would credit his account $25 a month for several months.  The caller also offered free premium channels.

• The caller asked the citizen to verify their 4-digit Dish Network PIN number.  The citizen did so after the caller was able to provide some of the citizen’s personal information (name, address, email address).  As the interaction went on, the citizen became suspicious of the call but the caller assured the citizen he was from Dish Network and told the citizen to check his account for the credit and the premium channels.  

• The citizen found a $40 credit had been applied to his account and he did, in fact, have several premium channels. 

• The caller asked for the citizen’s credit card information (full credit card number) to process the $199.99 charge for the software update.  The citizen did not provide it.  The caller continued trying to convince the citizen that he was from Dish Network and repeatedly explained that his status as a Dish employee allowed him to apply the $40 credit and add the premium channels to the account. 

• The citizen did not provide any additional information to the caller and contacted Dish Network’s Fraud Team, who advised this was a scam.  The Fraud Team explained that in these cases, the scam caller will use the citizen’s PIN to add credits and/or premium channels to a potential victim’s account to support the scammer’s claim that they are a representative of the company.  The next step in this scam is to try and obtain the victim’s credit card or bank information.

Dish Network will never call customers and ask for personal information, including PIN numbers or financial information.  If you receive a similar unsolicited call, hang up and do not provide any information.  You may contact the Dish Fraud Team at (866) 278-9613 to verify legitimate account activity.  Additional Dish Consumer Protection resources can be found at https://www.mydish.com/support/consumer-protection. 

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