When I bought a $1,000 laptop online a few years ago, my bank called me. Verizon and other companies should do the same, especially for an $18,000 bill. Although the article and its wording is obvious flame-bait, I was amused that Verizon's defense was "we educate the customer." They provide 20 different ways to check and control your account but won't even send an email after the first $200? The first $2,000?
Lesson learned is to contact any group you hold accounts with and find out what they have in place to catch unusual spending (mint.com provides a service for this). To avoid accounts getting started in the first place (identity theft), there are ways to avoid that too.