Long Distance "Slamming"

Dear New Yorker:

Telephone service competition has provided more choices to consumers and genuine savings on long distance rates.

But unfortunately, the telecommunications marketplace has become a fertile breeding ground for unsavory con-artists who prey on unsuspecting consumers.

Thousands of New Yorkers have complained to our office that they have opened their monthly phone bill and had charges billed by an unfamiliar carrier.

"Slamming" is the unauthorized change in a consumer's telephone service provider without the consumer's consent or permission.

If you have a problem with your telephone bill or want to learn more about protecting yourself from telephone scam artists, call or write to :

Office of the New York Attorney General
The State Capitol 
Albany, New York 12224 


CONFIRM your current local and long distance carriers with your local telephone company. The phone number of your local telephone company appears on your monthly bill.

ASK your phone company to "freeze" your telephone service. This prevents any switch of your long distance carrier without your express authorization.

PAY ATTENTION if anyone calls you about telephone service. Ask the caller who he or she works for and the reason for the call. Sometimes people get slammed after a telephone call they thought was from their chosen carrier but was, in fact, a slammer.

READ THE FINE PRINT on sweepstakes and contest entry forms. Although prohibited by State law, some slammers might use a sweepstakes entry to trick you into authorizing a switch in your telephone service.