It’s that time of year again! Phone scams are increasing and I’d like to tell you about a new one called Phone Porting and it empties your bank account. On the news they interviewed a person who looked to be in her late 40’s, maybe early 50’s who had $2000 taken right out of her bank! She was a victim of the Phone Porting Scam. The thing about this scam is that you won’t know it happened until your cell service doesn’t work! Tips for minimizing the risk of number porting fraud are below for customers of all four major mobile providers, including Sprint and Verizon.
How does this PHONE PORTING SCAM work?
The scammer calls your cell phone provider, or goes to a store, and impersonates the target victim, requesting a new SIM card for the victim’s phone number. The same process works also by “porting” the phone number to another provider, giving the attacker access to your phone number.
Once the provider issues the new SIM card, the scammer has control over your phone number and any information that’s linked to it, such as your bank account. Once the hacker has control of the phone, they can use it to reset the bank password by asking the bank to send a reset link via text.
How to NOT become a victim of phone porting
One way to not become a victim of this scam is to call your provider and tell them you want to set up a port validation code, this code should be something only you would know and definitely not the password you use on the providers website.
Verizon requires a PIN code match before discussing anything with their customers (this is my provider).
ATT requires a two-factor authentication “extra security,” which involves creating a unique passcode on your AT&T account that requires you to provide that code before any changes can be made — including ports initiated through another carrier.
T-Mobile suggests adding its port validation feature to all accounts. Call 611 from your T-Mobile phone or dial 1-800-937-8997 from any phone. Have a 6 – 15 digit passcode ready when you speak with the representative to add the port validation feature to your account.
Sprint you must provide the correct Sprint account number and PIN number for the port to be approved. Sprint requires all customers to create a PIN during their initial account setup.
A Mobile Authentication task force was created by the carriers last fall. They say the issue of unauthorized ports to commit fraud is being addressed by this initiative.
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