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Elderly woman claims company stole her phone number

By Madison Wade, mwade@krcrtv.com
Published On: Aug 20 2014 09:10:53 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 20 2014 09:10:59 PM CDT
REDDING, Calif. -

77 year old Helga Streuper has been without phone service for two weeks.

"I went on the phone and it was dead silence not a ring tone or anything ... Just dead silence," Helga said. “I couldn't notify anybody because I didn't have a phone."

Right away, Helga went across the street to ask her neighbor for help. She thought her phone service was disconnected.

An AT&T service employee came to her home and told her they would take care of the issue. The disconnection was part of a larger problem.

"Somebody told me, 'You got slammed, you got slammed.' That's what happened. Somebody took a number from AT&T and allotted it to charter," Helga said.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, slamming is the illegal practice of switching someone’s telephone service for a local or long distance service without permission.

Helga’s phone number was slammed from AT&T to Charter Communications. 

"My phone number got stolen,” Helga said.

She realized this was true when her family could not get a hold of her.

"Every time they typed my number a lady answered. It was obviously not me. Someone else here in Redding had my phone number," Helga said.

Helga said she has had the same phone number for over 25 years and is a much needed life line in case of an emergency.

"I'm elderly. My phone is the only form of communication. I don't have a cell phone or anything else."

The phone slamming forced her to buy a temporary phone costing her $130.

After countless calls, her phone service was switched on Wednesday.

What to do if you have been slammed, follow the FCC guidance listed on their website.