Industry News

Obama Scam Series Continued with Fake Phone Bill Coverage

A member of the SecurityNewsDaily staff spotted a cell phone scam claiming that President Obama will cover your cell phone bill if your send your bank account number to an unknown third party identified through another bank account number, according to an msnbc.com report.

Those who fell into this trap receive a “returned payment message next day, plus a $35 bounced check fee,” as specified by msnbc’s Matt Liebovitz.

The “Obama phone” trick follows a campaign via text and Twitter using as bait the claim that President Obama would pay the recipients’ utility bills. The persistence of this myth probably stems from the long-standing tradition of legislative measures intended to ensure U.S. citizens’ universal access to the phone service, as clarified by a FactCheck article.

U.S. welfare recipients and other categories of low income citizens receive a free cell phone and limited free calling time per month, but the program is financed through the Universal Service Fund, not taxpayers. The Fund operation is regulated by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which requires an “equitable and nondiscriminatory contribution” to the universal service cause from all telecommunications providers.

According to FactCheck, the “Obama phone” would, actually, be “a Wilson phone” because the access to universal service initiative goes back to the administration of President Woodrow Wilson.

About the author

Ioana Jelea

Ioana Jelea has a disturbing (according to friendly reports) penchant for the dirty tricks of online socialization and for the pathologically mesmerizing news trivia. From gory, though sometimes fake, death reports to nip slips and other such blush-inducing accidents, her repertoire is an ever-expanding manifesto against any Victorian-like frame of thought that puts a strain on online creativity. She would like to keep things simple, but she never does.