3 On Your Side

Valley man's credit score drops 100 points over fraudulent cell phone bill

Posted: Updated:
Charlie Moses said his credit score dropped after receiving a fraudulent bill. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Charlie Moses said his credit score dropped after receiving a fraudulent bill. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Moses says he called Verizon to complain but says they wouldn't do anything. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Moses says he called Verizon to complain but says they wouldn't do anything. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Verizon went on to say Moses won't be responsible for paying the bill and that they're removing the derogatory debt from his credit. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Verizon went on to say Moses won't be responsible for paying the bill and that they're removing the derogatory debt from his credit. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Charlie Moses uses Verizon for his cell phone service, and for the most part, he's been happy.

"As far as the product goes, I'm fine. I'm happy with that. It's been good," Moses told 3 On Your Side.

But all that changed, he says, when Verizon left him a strange voice mail nearly two months ago.

“My name is Robert and I am with Verizon Fraud Prevention,” the voice mail said. “What we need for you to do is give us a call back about the order that you had placed. It just needs verification before we start the service."

Moses says he thought to himself, "What new service?"

Confused, he and his wife thought it would be better to not call Verizon back.

"We just proceeded to not call them back. We figured if they're saying call us to verify, then we're not going to call because it's not a valid account," Moses said.

However, not calling may have been a mistake because a little more than a month later, Moses got a Verizon bill for that fraudulent account totaling $117.23.

So, he called Verizon and according to him, they agreed to shut it down and waive the balance. But, Moses was about to find out that fraudulent account was causing a lot of problems.

"So, about two weeks after that call, I checked my credit score and it had dropped 100 points, and I was alarmed," Moses said.

Moses’ credit score dropped to 653. When he called TransUnion, one of the credit bureaus, to find out why, they told him Verizon said he had a delinquent bill that had been opened less than two months ago. And you guessed it, it was the very same Verizon account that someone had opened fraudulently.

Moses says he called Verizon to complain but says they wouldn't do anything.

"So, Verizon without even going through a second billing cycle is saying this is not their problem and that they sold the bill to collections and won't even talk to me about it," a frustrated Moses said.

Verizon looked into the matter at 3 On Your Side's request, and eventually wrote us this email saying, "After review, our team deemed there was fraud on the account."

Verizon went on to say Moses won't be responsible for paying the bill and that they're removing the derogatory debt from his credit.

Moses says he’s relieved. Knowing it wasn’t his account and that his credit score took a hit he says is frustrating. And, he says it took 3 On Your Side to make it happen.

"By a big corporation like Verizon, I just feel like they're steamrolling people. They're not even giving them (consumers) the benefit of the doubt," Moses said.

Verizon never did explain to 3 On Your Side why they forwarded that unpaid, fraudulent bill to collections like they did. However, 3 On Your Side appreciates the cell phone company looking into the issue and resolving it like they did.

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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