It’s an experience Dominick Violante and his wife hopes they never have to deal with again.
“It’s frightening, especially when you hear a lot of the stories going around today about what happens to people’s ID when it’s stolen,” said Dominick Violante.
Violante said the couple has been longtime AT&T customers. The company informed them that their account was flagged as fraudulent because hackers got access their username and password. They used that access to purchase multiple cell phones that they charged to the Violante’s account. At that point, AT&T suspended the Violante's service.
The Avon residents filed a police report while AT&T completed an internal investigation.
“They were able to turn the phone back on. But the only function of the phone was just phone calls. No text or emails you could get with your phone,” Violante said.
Violante said they waited days and weeks for the outcome of that investigation.
“We didn’t know what happened or where it would go from there and what other effects it would have on credit cards and so on and so forth,” Violante said.
He contacted NBC Connecticut Responds and we got the ball rolling.
“AT&T offered to pay for one month of our cell phone bill and that was it,” Violante said.
AT&T gave the couple a $395 credit on their recent bill, according to Violante.
But the couple paid $800 to sign up for Identity theft monitoring and protection to avoid financial injury.
“After we signed up for protection, the company called up and said they had spotted her name on the dark web. And that was two days after her identity was stolen,” said Violante.
An AT&T spokesperson released this statement to NBC Connecticut Responds:
“We took immediate action to protect this customer’s account once we became aware of suspicious activity. We have since been in contact with the customer to assist further. The customer’s social security number was not accessed or used here.”
AT&T said that as a goodwill gesture, it gave Dominick a break on his bill. They said the fraudsters accessed the couple’s account by using their ID and password and not through AT&T’s network. Because their social security number wasn’t compromised, AT&T said it didn’t offer them credit monitoring service.