AT&T Forgives Church's $27K Phone Bill

Fraudulent calls placed to Libya in November rack up thousands of dollars in charges for Hinsdale church

By Allison Preston
|  Thursday, Mar 29, 2012  |  Updated 6:14 PM CDT
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Rev. Ed Searl of the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale said the calls were made to Libya over a two-day period in November, racking up a bill of $27,020.11. Searl said AT&T noticed the activity and stopped the calls, but only after the damage had been done.

Rev. Ed Searl of the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale said the calls were made to Libya over a two-day period in November, racking up a bill of $27,020.11. Searl said AT&T noticed the activity and stopped the calls, but only after the damage had been done.

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A Hinsdale church that had its phone hacked learned Thursday that AT&T would credit the full amount for the five-figure bill.

Rev. Ed Searl of the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale said the calls were made to Libya over a two-day period in November, racking up a bill of $27,020.11. Searl said AT&T noticed the activity and stopped the calls, but only after the damage had been done.

"We have been working with the Unitarian Church on this issue and after reviewing this account and confirming the charges were fraudulent, AT&T will credit the customer the full amount," said Susan J. Diaz de Leon, a company spokeswoman.

Hinsdale police are involved in the investigation to find the hacker and  hope to stop them before they  target anyone else.

“What’s challenging is the suspect could be anywhere in the world,” said Hinsdale Police Deputy Chief Mark Wodka. “It could be outside the U.S. border or someone at home here in Hinsdale.”
 
The pastor said, in a sense, their home had been invaded and It's a lesson to be vigilant.

"I think there is a caution here for all consumers," said Searl.


 

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