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By Andi Bourne

Phone Scam Targets Local DISH® Network User


SEELEY LAKE – This past January Seeley Lake resident Karen Montgomery was skeptical after received a phone call that showed up as DISH® Network (DISH) on her caller ID. While the offer to change out her satellites sounded like a good one, Montgomery checked with DISH and realized she had been the target of a scam. She hopes others will not fall victim.

Montgomery said the caller had a thick foreign accent. The caller kept going on and on about how Montgomery needed to upgrade old receivers or she would not be able to receive DISH services. The caller had all of Montgomery’s account information including the last four digits of her debit card. She was told there would be no charge to change out the satellites because it was a service DISH provides.

After Montgomery agreed, the caller scheduled a technician to replace the receivers and said there would be a $150 one-time charge.

“I said ‘Wait a minute. You just told me everything was free. Why do you need to charge me $150,’” said Montgomery. She was told that her bill would be credited $20 for the next 18 months, which did not add up.

Montgomery said she would not pay the $150 and hung up the phone. She immediately called DISH. She was told that they never call someone to upgrade their equipment. Customers will either receive a letter or an email. They also told Montgomery that there are ways to get around caller ID.

The technician showed up at Montgomery’s house to change out the receivers. He told Montgomery that while the receivers were free, they did not offer all the services they currently had. She decided not to have them installed.

“That part was legit [having the technician come to change out the receivers]. The only thing I can think of was [the scammer] called [DISH] and said she was me,” said Montgomery. “That is why we changed all the security codes on the account.”

Soon after the technician left, the scammer called Montgomery to see if she liked the new receivers. Montgomery told her she did not have them installed.

“She was really belligerent when I didn’t take the receivers. We didn’t want them because they take away some of the services we now have,” said Montgomery. “I told her I knew she was a scam and hung up.”

While Montgomery credits her gut instinct for identifying this as a scam, there were other clues. She said the caller’s strong foreign accent is what made her start to question if the person really worked for DISH.

Montgomery was told that she could not share this offer with her friends.

Montgomery was given a direct number for the scammer that she was told was for the “technical department.” She was to call that number once the receivers were installed. When Montgomery checked the number with DISH they said that was not a number for them.

This scam was first reported on DISH’s support forum ( in 2015 with the most recent report posted Feb. 3, 2016. DISH’s Social Media Representative wrote that not only will DISH rarely call their customers but if they do, the representative will leave notes on the account as to why they called. “If you’re not sure, call us back. The agent you’re calling back to would see the notes and be able to assist you.”

Montgomery said DISH was great to work with. They flagged her account for the next six months and she changed all her security codes. She also called the bank and put a hold on her debit card.

“It’s just so frustrating,” said Montgomery. “But if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.”


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