Hackers want money, not want cellphone numbers

ATLANTA — Millions of T-Mobile customers were impacted when a hacker stole their information.

A metro Atlanta couple talked to Channel 2 Consumer Advisor Clark Howard about how the hack almost cost them thousands of dollars.

“On the 19th, we got a text message from T-Mobile that said that our data had been part of the data breach,” David Padgett, a T-Mobile customer said.

Four days later, two AT&T bills arrived, and Padgett’s wife Elaine decided to open them, not believing they were real because they do not have any accounts with AT&T.

Someone opened three accounts totaling more than $2,000 for phones and contracts the Padgetts never purchased.

“That’s when I realized these were legitimate, real bills,” Elaine Padgett said. “That was the first we know that there was actually a hack on our credit information.”

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The Padgetts believe the hackers opened the accounts using the stolen information from T-Mobile, so the couple froze their credit immediately and filed a police report.

“It’s pretty much the only thing in his name and that’s the one thing that exposed him,” Elaine Padgett said.

AT&T determined that the accounts were not opened fraudulently, but could not tell the Padgetts how the accounts were opened. AT&T eventually canceled the accounts, but the Padgetts are worried the hackers will use their information again.

“What’s going to happen 10 years from now or five years from now when somebody takes this information?” Elaine Padgett asked.

According to Channel 2 Consumer Advisor Clark Howard, it is terrible when somebody steals your cellphone service, but that’s not ultimately what the criminals are after; they’re after your money that’s in a 401(k), your bank account or other similar places.