phone shenanigans
January 17, 2007 4:04 PM   Subscribe

Is this identity theft, or some other form of fraud?

A week ago my (land line) phone in New York stopped working. Calls to the number received a disconnect message.

When I called Verizon they said someone had ordered that the phone be disconnected and the bills sent to 1005 East Gwinnett, Savannah, Georgia 30313.

That doesn't seem to be a valid address. The caller would have needed the full account number or other personal information to make this switch.

Why would anyone do this? (I can't think of anyone who would want to harass me.)
posted by StickyCarpet to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Perhaps it is a legitimate mistake by the phone company. Maybe the person transposed a number?

Or, maybe someone is messing with you and you just don't know who yet.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 4:10 PM on January 17, 2007

According to the US postal service web site, both of the following street addresses are legitimate addresses:


Both of those addresses can be found by Google Maps (interestingly, E Gwinnett Ln and E Gwinnett St are right next to each other in Savannah). Perhaps the address that Verizon has is just incorrect in that it has the wrong zip code and fails to specify Lane or Street.
posted by RichardP at 4:23 PM on January 17, 2007

Sounds like a phone company error. Doesn't seem to be a valid address? Why? 1005 East Gwinett and see here
posted by Listener at 4:31 PM on January 17, 2007

Yeah, I'm seeing it on google now. I was told that by the Savannah police dept when I called. I don't see how it could be a mistake because so much redundant info is required to request a change in billing.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:40 PM on January 17, 2007

They may request the information from you... but they may not actually need to input that information on their end. A simple transposition error in many CRM systems can result in this sort of problem. Particularly if you have CSRs who don't really care to dot every i and cross every t, and proofread.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:55 PM on January 17, 2007

Both 914 and 917 (NY state area codes) are one digit away from 912 (GA area code) -- perhaps the source of the transposition error theorized above? Call 912- and see if they recently tried to change their billing address.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:05 PM on January 17, 2007

oops, angle bracket problem above. 912-[your phone number]...
posted by Rock Steady at 5:06 PM on January 17, 2007

Rock Steady: 212 is one digit different as well. You might be on to something. The 912 version of my number is a cell phone that's not receiving calls, but I'll try it again.

Listener: your first link to 1005 East Gwinett leads to M'lady's Stylon, that is elsewhere listed as 1004 East Gwinnett so that's probably a typo. Morningside Baptist Church, listed several places as 1005, is actually at 1805 so that's a typo too.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:24 PM on January 17, 2007

Not that it helps now, but if/when you get the line reconnected, you can request that they lock your account in the future, such that they have to call you back at a number you specified when setting up the account.
posted by nomisxid at 8:45 PM on January 17, 2007

Maybe call Verizon and suggest the 212/912 situation?
posted by Rock Steady at 11:01 AM on January 18, 2007

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