$183,000 phone bill has dentist gritting her teeth; ‘Something is really wrong’

Chicago (WBBM) — A phone bill for more than $180,000. That’s what Dr. Rosa Galvan-Silva’s dental office received from AT&T for hundreds of international calls she said she never made.

Dr. Rosa Galvan-Silva’s dental office received a bill from AT&T for hundreds of international calls she said she never made. (WBBM)

CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas dug into her puzzling problem.

In 40-plus years of dentistry, about 30 at her office in South Holland, Galvan-Silva still hasn’t seen it all.

“Something is really wrong,” she said about receiving an $81,224.32 bill from AT&T, the first of two monstrous phone bills.

The bill said her office made more than 100 calls – some as long as two hours – to the United Kingdom in late July and early August.

“Oh my goodness, somebody’s talking a lot to the UK, but it’s not us,” she said. “They’re having good conversations there.”

Galvan-Silva said she called AT&T and the company came out to investigate, but couldn’t figure out the problem. She said the calls are still tying up her phone lines–with problems happening as recently as last week.

“We’re hurting. You know, we’re losing business,” she said.

The bill showed many of the calls happen hours before her office opens, but not all of them.

“When we come in the office, all the lines are busy. We cannot receive any phone calls. We cannot make any phone calls,” she said. “My staff are all here, and I’m with them. So it’s no way somebody’s gonna be making those phone calls here without me knowing.”

Instead of $81,000, she paid her typical bill of about $280. She did the same thing after the next bill came, totaling $183,576.05.

That bill showed three phone lines tied up at the same time on the morning of Aug. 19. Those calls cost hundreds of dollars each.

It appears Dr. Galvan-Silva’s phone system was accessed by fraudsters who made the unauthorized calls.

She got a letter from AT&T’s fraud resolution group on Oct. 22, offering a settlement agreement, asking her to pay the company just $831 plus fees and taxes.

The letter didn’t say why she would pay that amount, and she said she shouldn’t owe a penny.

After we contacted AT&T, the company agreed to wipe away the bogus international charges.

But Dr. Galvan-Silva says no one has told her whether the issue is fixed.

“It is frustrating, because we are trying to do whatever we can on our part. Our equipment has been checked, we made all the phone calls that we have to make, and still we don’t have any resolution,” Galvan-Silva said.

After CBS 2 reached out to AT&T, officials there agreed to wipe out the bogus international charges, and Dr. Galvan-Silva says the company is no longer asking her to pay that $831 dollar settlement

CBS 2 will be following up with everyone involved to see how the situation is resolved.

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