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DIRECTV Subs: Beware of Upgrade Scammers!

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Law enforcement in a small Kentucky town are warning DIRECTV subscribers of a recent phone scam there that promises phony service upgrades in return for a credit card number. However, in past years, there was a similar scam in other markets which could mean criminals are using it again nationwide to bilk satellite customers.

WKYT-TV, the CBS affiliate in Lexington, Kentucky, reports scammers claiming to be from DIRECTV are calling the satcaster’s subscribers in Winchester, Kentucky, and offering a service upgrade. However, to get the ‘upgrade,” the subscriber must first give his or her credit card number.

“The Winchester Police Department wants to make the public aware of a possible scam involving individuals claiming to represent DIRECTV,” the Winchester police said on Twitter. “Individuals are calling residents offering upgrades to service as long as you provide them with a credit card number. These subjects may know information about you such as your address and that you are a DirectTV customer. They will become hostile if you do not provide a credit card number. Numbers associated with this scam are 800-532-2646 and 606-333-0365.”

It’s unclear if any DIRECTV customers in Kentucky have fallen for the scam. But the Internet is filled with reports from subscribers on message boards and other forums that they have received similar calls. The complaints date back at least three years, including this one from Texas in February 2020:

“According to Mike Poindexter of the Jasper (Texas) Police Department, a scammer called his father in Sabine County and identified himself as being with Direct TV, a satellite television provider. However, Poindexter said the longer his father talked to them, the more their pitch didn’t make sense. Poindexter said the scammer told his father that Direct TV was doing an upgrade in this area and it would cost him $150.00 that he had to pay, or, they would turn his satellite service off,” writes

“I just received a call from someone claiming to be from Directv,” one subscriber says in a 2019 message posted on AT&T’s customer forum. “Saying they were up-dating my receiver. They are very good scammers, everything sounded okay until they wanted 199.99 for doing this service, I told them I could afford that he said he could lower it to 140.00. I told them I could not pay it they told me my receiver would not be up-dated and the receiver would be shut off in 30 minutes, I asked to speak to a manager another  person with a heavy accent came on and told me if I did not give credit card #’s I would lose service.”

Here’s a report of the scam being used in 2017 and one from 2018.

The scammers even seem to know the account numbers and other personal information of some DIRECTV customers, adding authenticity to their calls.

“The scammer told the victim that they would get their money back through a discount on their monthly bill, the sheriff’s office said. The scammer apparently knew the victim’s DIRECTV account number and their total paid each month,” KRCR-TV writes, referring to a wave of fraudulent calls in Humboldt County in California.

There are also some reports that a similar scam has been tried on Dish customers.

“The citizen received several phone calls from a subject purporting to be from Dish Network,” the city of Dubuque (Iowa) said in a warning published in 2019. “The caller knew the citizen’s name and his address.  The caller advised the citizen that his receivers were out of date because of new satellites and they needed an upgrade/software update.  The caller ID showed the number was from Dish Network, however, it was later found to be spoofed.”

The Dubuque police notes that Dish says it will never call call customers and ask for personal information, including PIN numbers or financial information. AT&T, which owns DIRECTV, maintains the same policy.

The companies say if someone representing DIRECTV or Dish calls you and asks for your personal information, hang up immediately.

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— Phillip Swann

7 thoughts on “DIRECTV Subs: Beware of Upgrade Scammers!

  1. I have received similar calls from “Spectrum”
    They say there is a problem with my Internet.
    I live in San Diego, Calif.

    First they want the EXPIRATION DATE of my card.
    I made up a phony one to see where this is going.
    Then the guy asks for my
    COMPLETE 16 Digit Credit Card number.

    I ask what does this have to do
    with a problem with my internet.

    Then the swearing starts. Finally Hanging up.

    The Phone CID number was a Local Area Code.
    I called it back. NOT in Service.

    Get these all the time.
    It would be nice if the FCC would
    FORCE the Phone companies to STOP this.

    With their Phone switches,
    they could program them to STOP
    calls coming from the SAME number to
    Different numbers in Rapid succession.

    Even a bunch of SHORT Calls being placed
    These Scammers use different numbers.
    But the FCC Looks the other way.

    Banks do it ALL the time.
    Someone steals your Credit Card,
    Starts using it at a bunch of Different Stores
    in a SHORT time frame.

    Bank Puts a LOCK on Card, Notify’s you
    there is suspicious activity on your Card.

    Why won’t the Government STOP this ?

  2. I received a call last week. Husband answered and believed they were Dish – luckily he didn’t know the password. They told him they would call back. They called back 20 minutes later and i answered. He had already given them the receiver info but that did them no good without the password on the account. I grilled them big time and they didn’t like it. I finally said I don’t remember my password and the scammer actually told me to “go to hell then”! No kidding. I called Dish and spoke with the Fraud Dept and we changed everything on my account. Word to scammers out there – get a life and get an honest job and quit trying to steal from people!

  3. the scammers that called me said i could send them a check to ADTV TECH at 505 eagle ave., west hemtstead ny. 11552 .

  4. Caller ID “Alltel Communications”. Live female spoke to my wife–who addressed my wife BY NAME ( which left me wondering what other info this person had on us ), advising our DirecTV receiver software was out of date and “answering a few questions” will quickly “correct the problem”. My wife politely declined the “help”, so we didn’t hear those “few questions” –and the female was equally polite and the call ended. We contacted security from both AT&T and DirecTV–both purport the call IS a scam, not saying much more because both are “internally investigating the matter” Alltel Communications also knows NOTHING about any arrangements between them, AT&T/DirecTV.

  5. I get a number of these calls each week. Today, for chuckles, I pressed 1 to speak to a rep. He said I need to ask a few more questions but I interrupted and said take me off your damn list. What I got next was “Shut up you piece of sh*t, shut up you piece of sh*t”, and he hung up. My attempt to call back revealed the number could not be reached as dialed.

  6. I get these everyday sometimes more than once. I called them back and told them never to call me again. She said something nasty then hung up. I’m so sick of getting these calls. You block the number and still get their voice mails. I’ve been keeping track of every single one. Despite not having AT&T or DirectTv, the calls continue. Someone needs to start a class action.

  7. i wonder….why is it that ppl from these other countries seem to be able to scam US Citizens and no one can ever seem to resolve it, but if US citizen even try to concoct such an idea, the Federal and Local police, military and Martials be knocking at our doors before the rooster can crow with us pinned down? Can anyone even attempt to answer this? Im puzzled!

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