eBay-DirecTV discount scheme hits Central Florida

Customers lose money, service in days

A man says he was tricked out of $1,200 as part of a DirecTV scheme.
A man says he was tricked out of $1,200 as part of a DirecTV scheme.

Impostors claiming to represent DirecTV have launched a  premium channel discount scam in exchange for eBAY gift cards.

Glen and Barbara Boschen of Lake County, told News 6 they received a text that announced an eBay-DirecTV promotion that offered a 50 percent discount on the premium channel package.

Boschen, who has been a DirecTV customer since October 2018, was told to get $600 in EBAY gift cards and call the man, who gave her the name of Brian, with the card codes.

“He convinced me he was an agent of AT&T,” Boschen said. “He said, 'You’re going to get all the movie channels.'”

After three days of service, Boschen discovered a glitch in his new discount deal: These was no signal.

When he called what he thought was the AT&T DirecTV service center, Boschen was told his eBAY gift cards did not go through and he would have to get another $600 to activate the service and the 50 percent discount.

News 6 called the number: 855- 257-2188.
We were surprised to hear a recorded greeting by a professional announcer: “Thank you for calling AT&T DirecTV.”

Once we talked to the manager handling Boschen’s account, it was clear it was a  deception.

The so-called agent claimed to be operating  for AT&T in a Baltimore, Maryland, call center. Dozens of people could be heard speaking in the background.

News 6 asked to speak to an eBay representative because there was no evidence of a joint promotion between the two companies.

Officicials with eBAY never called.

Both AT&T and Boschen’s local provider, CenturyLink, confirmed there is no special promotion involving gift cards.

CenturyLink’s issues manager, Mark Molzen, said in part, “We do not currently have any promotions with eBay and we do not ask for payment via gift cards; what you’ve described is a scam. Our promotional offerings are available on our website and we encourage customers with any questions or concerns about promotions to call CenturyLink. “
In the past, similar schemes have used Amazon as the bogus promotion partner with DirecTV and AT&T.

AT&T is aware of the scam and has provided information online to avoid any issues.

The Federal Trade Commission has information on its website regarding scammers requesting to be paid with gift cards, click here for more information.

About the Author:

News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.