ROCKWOOD (WATE) - It seems like con artists are running wild in East Tennessee with all sorts of scams.
Now, there's another con that customers of a satellite service have received.
In Rockwood, Jerry Isham is known as The Hogman to local music fans. A member of the Knoxville Songwriters Association, he has penned many comedy country tunes and his wife, Brenda, is often the first to hear his new compositions.
Living in rural Roane Country, the couple depends of satellite service for their TV and internet reception. Their provider is Dish Network. They're pleased with the service.
But when an unsolicited call came last week, after listening for a while they detected a scam in the making.
"They want to offer you six months free if you pay in advance six months, and they'll offer you, your choice of a movie channel. Out of the package," Brenda said.
"Sounds good to start with," Jerry said.
Initially, the offer of free service for six months sounded enticing, but to get the deal, Brenda and Jerry say the phony pitch man wanted six months payment up front.
And the man who claimed he was with Dish Network had information about their personal account.
"Somehow or another he knew how much we were spending per month on it," Jerry said.
He also knew that it was taken from their checking account.
"I didn't want to put up $700 and something. $100 a month is enough. I didn't want to do that. It smelled like it was a scam," Jerry said.
The couple still doesn't know how the scammer got their information.
"I'd like to know and Dish told me they'd like to know, too. But they do have a department that tries to take care of things like that," Brenda said.
6 On Your Side called the number given to the couple from the con artist who claimed the call was not a hoax, but the number was blocked.
To make sure you never fall for this type of scam, remember, Dish Network or any service like it does not require customers to pay for a full six months in advance or through a strange payment method like Green Dot money pack cards or Western Union.
Never reveal your account information or password to an unsolicited caller. Your provider already knows it.
No matter what the caller ID reveals, hang up and call your pay TV provider if the deal sounds too good to be true.
"There is nothing free. There is nothing free that's for sure," said Brenda.
Fortunately, the Ishams didn't lose any money.
If you have fallen for this type of scam, the best thing to do is notify your pay TV subscriber at their customer service number and ask them to check your account for unauthorized changes to it.
If you have made the mistake of handing over credit card or bank information, you should contact your bank or credit provider to have them remove or dispute the charges that have been made.
You can see Don Dare's 6 On Your Side reports every Monday and Wednesday on 6 News at 5:00.
If you have a consumer question, send Don an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call his 6 On Your Side Hotline at (865) 633-5974.
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