Identity Theft Is Not a Joke, Jim!
A new identity theft threat that has emerged and this one is very hard to defend against. Have you ever felt that your phone was acting odd? Maybe suddenly your phone switches to “Emergency Call” only. So what is happening? Those are the symptoms of a port-out scam taking place. This is serious. So what’s happening?
Fraudsters are attempting to compromise personal bank accounts by taking over and transferring phone numbers from one wireless provider to another. It’s a scheme that is affecting the entire wireless industry.
The scam is an industry-wide problem and definitely is not a joke.
What is a Port-Out Scam?
A port-out scam is when a hacker takes your phone number and transfers it to another phone or carrier. It may only be for a few minutes but in that time the hacker can steal your information. The idea is that when they take over your number, they can use it to retrieve passwords to your bank accounts or other information. This is very scary because that use to be how to determine your identity. Sending that text to your phone when you get your password wrong, you can usually reset with a PIN number being sent to your phone, not adding a new layer of security will be necessary.
What can you do?
T-Mobile has offered up some possible ways to avoid being affected by the scammers.
We suggest you add our port validation feature to your account. To do this, you’ll need to call 611 from your T-Mobile phone or dial 1-800-937-8997 from any phone. The T-Mobile customer care representative will ask you to create a 6-to-15-digit passcode that will be added to your account.
Make sure you always have strong passwords on any online or mobile account. You may also consider checking with your bank to see if there is an alternative to using text-for-PIN authentication, such as email. For more information on privacy and security, please refer to our online privacy resources.
So make sure to stay safe and keep a watchful eye on your phone. Double check T-Mobile’s information site here