Bond set at $2M for couple at the center of ‘elaborate’ AT&T fraud scheme

Pair charged with stealing from AT&T customers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis identity theft case involves hundreds of thousands of dollars stolen from AT&T customers as well as gambling at casinos. One cybersecurity expert told WMC he has not come across something this elaborate saying it is very scary.

“I just saw a bunch of police over there like a few days ago,” said one neighbor of the suspect.

She said investigators in undercover cars were watching the North Memphis home of suspect Brandon Danley. She said she does not know him. No one answered the door when I knocked,

Danley along with Taryn Watson are accused in an elaborate identity theft case.

“This is very different. It’s scary,” said Mike Brady, a cybersecurity expert.

Brady owns Cyber Solutions Group. He said he has seen email, phishing and phone scams but nothing like this. According to police a man and woman were calling into the AT&T call centers impersonating AT&T employees. The man and woman had authentic employee identification numbers, it is not clear how they got those numbers.

“It’s sophisticated to the point, in my opinion, it looks more like an inside job because they have too much information,” said Brady. “They have too many employee IDs.”

An AT&T spokesperson said Danley and Watson never worked for the company. Police say it doesn’t appear the couple ever worked anywhere.

Investigators say, Danley and Watson, using the personal information, called AT&T customer service posing as the customer to have their service changed to a new cell phone provider. That allowed the pair to change passwords opening the door to financial information and eventually moving money into the suspects’ accounts. More than 70 customers were victims losing a total of half a million dollars.

Investigators executed a search warrant in this house finding banking information, commercial-grade counting machines and over 300 W-2′s for winnings at area casinos. It was documented that Danley put in over $1 million in cash at Southland casino in West Memphis since January.

Police say after the search warrant Danley and Watson still continued to defraud people.

Brady has a tip since so much information is on our cell phones.

“Don’t stay logged in -- have to log in every time,” he said. “If they give you a number of different passwords go in and set that up. Don’t link your Cash App, or Venmo, don’t link it directly to your bank account.”

Danley and Watson are being behind bars. They are each being held on $2 million bonds.

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