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Chicago Dentist gets phone bill totaling over $180,000

In addition to the massive bills, the dentist said someone took over the phone system so her office couldn't make or receive calls.
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CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago dentist says her office received a phone bill for more than $180,000 for hundreds of international calls she never made.

Dr. Rosa Galvan-Silva first received a bill from AT&T for more than $81,000 listing more than 100 calls that were placed to the United Kingdom in July and August. Some of those calls went as long as two hours.

The dentist's next AT&T bill totaled more than $183,000, WBBM-TV reported.

It appears that fraudsters had accessed Galvan-Silva's office phone system and made the unauthorized calls. She said fraudulent calls were still tying up her phone lines as recently as late October.

"When we come in the office, all the lines are busy. We cannot receive any phone calls. We cannot make any phone calls," Galvan-Silva 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."

A few of the calls were placed before the dentist's office opened, but not all of them.

Galvan-Silva called AT&T, and the company sent representatives to her office to investigate but couldn't resolve the issue there.

"We're hurting. You know, we're losing business," she added. Despite the expensive bills, Galvan-Silva has continued to pay about $280 for her bills, which is the amount she's typically charged for phone service.

She received a letter last month from AT&T's fraud resolution group offering a settlement and asking her to pay $831 plus fees and taxes. That letter didn't elaborate on the amount, but Galvan-Silva didn't think she should owe anything for the fraudulent calls.

After the TV station contacted AT&T, company officials agreed to wipe the charges. Galvan-Silva said the company has also asked her not to pay the settlement price.

"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," she said.


Information from: WBBM-TV, http://www.cbs2chicago.com

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