Fraudulent signatures discovered on Lifeline phone applications – Scripps News investigation
In a press release issued today, Scripps reports that it has uncovered people across the country whose signatures appeared on applications with TerraCom and YourTel for phones and phone service without their knowledge:
Darryl Nelson of San Antonio, Texas, has never even heard of TerraCom. But there was his home address, his Social Security number and his signature on the bottom of a TerraCom Lifeline application– misspelled and in someone else’s handwriting.
“This is crazy,” said Nelson, 51. “This is wrong.”
Nelson was among 50 people in four states discovered by Scripps who had applications submitted in their names without their knowledge.
The breach was allegedly due to insiders forging applications. Surprisingly, Scripps even got a former employee on the record about the practice.
Questions about TerraCom-YourTel’s business practices have led to investigations in Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma and Texas. And in July, TerraCom began terminating all 700 Lifeline sales staffers out of concern that rogue agents were breaking program rules.
The Scripps News investigation Privacy on the Line is available at www.kjrh.com/lifelinesignatures.