The doorbell rang, and then there was knocking on the door. I came downstairs and received a box from the FedEx guy. It came from a fulfillment center in Fort Worth, TX. When I opened the package, I found a packing slip for an iPhone 13 and an Apple Watch Series 7. You might guess the problem.
The form message from Spectrum Mobile was a bit ominous. “If you did not order this product, DO NOT OPEN DEVICE PACKAGING and please contact us immediately at (833)…” Oh yeah, “Once a package is opened or seal is broken, future returns or exchanges may result in restocking fees of $50 per device.” And there’s a 14-day window, not from when I received it but from the shipping date two days earlier.
I should note that I do have some services, including the Internet, from Spectrum. But I have nothing from the related Spectrum Mobile.
The first person I spoke with said they’d cancel my Mobile account, which I doubt happened because I kept getting welcoming emails. The second person was worse. They suggested that, since I had the equipment anyway, maybe I wanted to keep it and switch to Spectrum Mobile. What? Upselling me when a fraud has been perpetrated on both Spectrum and me? Then I was on hold for a minimum of twenty minutes.
One out of three ain’t bad
At least, the third person, in the fraud department, was helpful. They told me:
* The items were purchased on a MasterCard that was not mine. But during the transaction that got this unwanted equipment to me, the purchaser used MY Social Security number. This was extremely discomforting.
* The purchase was for $268, but that was just the downpayment on the purchase, which totaled about two grand.
*The buyer used a variation of my name on an Outlook account that is not mine.
I was trying to figure out how a crook would make money sending me the equipment I did not request. My wife theorized that maybe porch pirates were scoping out our house. The rep suggested that I might receive a contact from the fraudsters to tell me the package was sent to me in error. They could then get me to return the box to a fraudulent address.
Before I sent the package back, using a FedEx label Spectrum emailed me, I became obsessed with my vulnerability for identity theft. I went to the Experian page and checked the information they had on me. My credit card usage appeared to be correct. But the file showed that I once lived in Schuylerville, NY in Saratoga County, NY, in the Albany metro, but 30 miles away, where I’ve never resided.
Experian wanted me to send documentation, such as a photo of my current DMV ID, to prove I DIDN’T live in Schuylerville in the past? Je ne comprends pas. I requested that they make the change sans the picture.