I received a charge on my 10 FEB 2005 BELLSOUTH telephone statement from a company identified as INTEGRETEL, 1-800-736-7500, for a collect call allegedly made to my home phone on 28 JAN 2005 from telephone number 914-576-1980. I live alone and I am 100% certain I did not accept a collect call.
I contacted INTEGRETEL on 21 FEB 2005 and advised them about the above situation. They stated that I had to provide them with additional personal information (full name, address, etc...) about myself and my telephone number before they could provide a credit to my account. I was reluctant to provide them the personal information requested, but did so to get the credit. This made me suspicious, since they had my telephone number, and there has been a lot of publicity about telephone and Internet scams recently.
When I completed the call to INTEGRETEL, I did an Internet search about them, and I found numerous postings from consumers who had received fraudulent charges from INTEGRETEL, similar to my situation.
I then contacted BELLSOUTH on 21 FEB 2005, my carrier and reported the above situation. I was switched to 7-8 different people and none of them were able to help me. I asked to speak to someone from their FRAUD Department, and all I got was the run-around, and no way to report fraud to BELLSOUTH. I find this amazing that a company the size of BELLSOUTH has no SECURITY or FRAUD department. Although all the BELLSOUTH representatives were polite, they were unable to resolve my situation. Finally, the last woman I spoke with said ONLY the FCC could handle this complaint. All the previous BELLSOUTH representatives told me to report this problem to INTEGRETEL. Why would I report a crime (fraud) to the party that committed the offense???? This is crazy - but was the only response I received from BELLSOUTH!!
It appears to me this company, INTEGRETEL, has a history of scamming consumers through their fraudulent billing practices. Further, now that they have additional personal information about me, what is to stop this from happening in the future? I posed this question to BELLSOUTH and they had no answer. Isn't Interstate wire fraud a federal offense?
West Palm Beach, Florida