SCAM ALERT: Better Business Bureau sees spike in TV plan  deception

There's a new scam that's popping up around the area where you'll get a call from someone trying to get you to pay for television services with a pre-paid card.

Tom Stephens is the president of the Better Business Bureau of Northeast Florida and the Southeast Atlantic, and he says eight people have been victimized in the area since the start of the year.

"We've had people lose anywhere from $200 to $1,300 dollars by buying eBay cards," he says. "This is in the last three or four days."

Stephens says those victims have been getting calls, texts or emails from people claiming to be with AT&T — the owner of DirecTV — who offers either a discount on existing services if you pay up front for a year or additional services at half off if you pay for six months at a time.

The scammers will tell you it's a promotion between DirecTV and eBay, Stephens says. At that point you'll get the instructions to buy prepaid eBay cards to read the number on that card to the person conducting the scam.

"Obviously, the first thing you should do is contact DirectTV directly and find out if there is a promotion involved," Stephens says.

He says they'll tell you there's no promotion with eBay, and it's most likely a scam.

Stephens points out that just because the scams reported so far have involved fake AT&T representatives pretending to be calling on behalf of DirecTV and eBay, the scams can involve any number of providers.

"They're doing it with DirecTV now, they may go to Dish Network next or whatever," Stephens says.

If you're worried you are being scammed, Stephens suggests going to your provider’s website to look up a customer service number. Give them a call to double check.

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