Get Garcia, Get Results: Attorney Battles Over $18,000 Fraudulent Phone Bill

Phone lines at an Encino attorney's law firm were hacked, racking up nearly $18,000 in fraudulent calls

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    For two years, Encino attorney Alyse Golden Berkley battled with AT&T over nearly $18,000 in fraudulent calls. When the company tried to hand over her bill to a collection agency, she called the Get Garcia Team.

    For two years, Encino attorney Alyse Golden Berkley battled with AT&T over nearly $18,000 in fraudulent calls.

    Berkley’s law firm has four phone lines, which were hacked over the course of four days in July 2010.

    “All the calls were to Somalia and lasted exactly two minutes,” said Berkley, whose bill showed 527 calls to Somalia.

    “I don’t know anyone in Somalia, and I don’t do business in Somalia.”

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    Despite Berkley’s expertise in dispute resolution and mediation, the lawyer said she could not convince AT&T to drop the fraudulent charges.

    “Our (phone) bills run $200 to $300 a month, and that’s it,” Berkley said.

    She kept paying her monthly phone bill, but not the ones for Somalia.

    Then, she said, it became worse.

    The law firm’s phone service was disconnected a few times then she began receiving emails from AT&T saying the matter would be sent to a collections agency.

    The Get Garcia Team contacted AT&T on behalf of Berkley and a month later the issue was resolved and the $17,933.40 bill was reduced to $0.

    “We're pleased this matter has been resolved and regret any misunderstanding," said Georgia Taylor of AT&T.

    “I had a feeling they were going to listen to you,” Berkley said.

    AT&T asked Berkley to sign a confidentiality agreement, but Berkley – an attorney – says that’s “ridiculous.”

    If you have a tip for the Get Garcia Team, calls 818.520.TIPS or email GetGarcia@NBCUNI.COM.

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