Phone porting leads to identity theft and bank funds
If you’ve already bought a new cell phone and want to keep your same number, there is a setting used by providers that could put you at risk for hacking.
This is called porting.
When a hacker can port your number to another phone, it could wreak havoc on any important information you keep on your phone. This includes connections to bank accounts.
A month ago, a man in Palm Beach County who did not want to be identified was the victim of an illegal phone port.
“It was panic and a feeling of what else can they have access to,” said the victim of the scam.
He said he was suddenly unable to make calls or texts, so he went to his cell phone provider’s physical store.
There, according to the scam victim, he was told, “Someone in Knoxville, Tennessee. Looks like they walked into a Verizon store, bought an Android phone, and transferred your phone number to their device. . “
Internet security expert and CEO of Information flow Alan Crowetz says two-factor authentication meant to protect your connections can be hacked with phone number porting.
Crowetz said, “The bad guys got the hard part. The password is easy to get. Now they have a phone number.”
If a hacker transfers your phone and steals your password when you get that two-factor text code to log into apps, like bank accounts, then the game is on.
The victim of the Palm Beach County phone port said, “I’m starting to get alerts from my bank account that the balance is low, the account is overdrawn, what’s going on. So of course my heart starts. to pump blood. “
The low balance alert came after the porter’s scammer had the victim’s account number to write and cash two checks to his name totaling thousands of dollars.
There are two things you can do to prevent this from happening:
1) Log on to your mobile phone provider’s page and block porting your phone.
2) If you think your number has already been ported, remotely wipe your iPhone by signing into your iCloud and erase your data.
For an Android phone, sign in to your Google account linked to your phone and follow the instructions from there.
If you don’t, a possible mess.
“You might have a lot of time to prove to the phone company who the right person is. Are you the hacker or is the other person the hacker. Who does the phone number really belong to?” , Crowetz said.
“I want to tell my story so that people can lock their phones. It’s an easy thing to do,” said the victim of the phone port.
The victim is in her fifth week of recovering the lost money.
He’s had to file a police report, spend countless hours arguing with his bank, and bills that are normally automatically withdrawn from his account.