Since most Americans have a smartphone, scammers have decided to target cellular phones. The ‘port out’ scam is the latest in the pack. If someone falls prey to this scam, they’re going to lose control of their phone number. Port-out fraud targets your personal, private accounts and you could lose everything in the blink of an eye. Below, you’ll learn more about the Port-Out phone scam so you can avoid falling prey to naughty scammers.
The Importance Of Text Messages
When it comes to your private information, you may believe that your bank account number and social security number are most important. They are but your phone number is equally important. You likely have your smartphone synced to your bank account meaning you receive bank updates directly to your phone. Your phone may be used for broker accounts, social media accounts, and other financial accounts as well.
If someone is able to port your phone number elsewhere and take control of it, they can easily access your private information. They’ll be able to assume your identity and gain access to your accounts. All they have to do is use your phone number to reset your passwords.
How The Port Out Scam Works
One way scammers are hijacking phone numbers is by utilizing the porting out scam. Mobile phone numbers can be transferred or ported from one cellular provider to another. If you decide to switch cellular companies, you may port your phone to the new provider. Cellular phone companies have developed safeguards in hopes of preventing fraudulent port outs such as requiring account holders to create a PIN or password when they call to inquire about or make changes to their accounts.
Nevertheless, scammers can easily bypass the password by using your private information such as your name, address, date of birth, and social security number. Once the scammer decides to target you, they’ll call pretending to be associated with a business. Then, they’ll say something is wrong with your account so they’ll need your private information.
Alternatively, the victim’s information may already be available on the dark website.
Once they have your information, the scammers will contact your phone company and initiate a porting or port out request. This means that the number will eventually be transferred to another account controlled by the scammer. After they’ve gained control over the account, they’ll work quickly to reset the victim’s bank account and social media account information. They’ll have to be quick because you’ll likely realize your phone number has been stolen and you’ll report it to your cellular provider.
If they’re able to reset the password, they’ll be able to drain your bank account in minutes. They may also take control of your social media accounts and demand ransom from you. Obviously, you do not want to find yourself in this type of situation.
How Are Scammers Getting Your Information?
How are scammers gaining access to the information of their victims? Ultimately, there are numerous methods to gain this information. For starters, scammers may be using public records such as property appraisal information, phone book details, and social media. Furthermore, they may target websites such as Amazon and eBay.
Many scammers carry out multiple scams simultaneously. By selling products on Amazon or eBay, the scammer can gain access to the buyer’s name, address, phone number, and email address. This is enough to get them started. With that being said, you have to be very careful when giving your private information to anyone including eBay, Amazon, and Walmart. If 3rd parties are involved, the risks are grave.
How To Protect Yourself
To avoid becoming a victim of the port out phone scam, it is important to protect your private information with your life. You’ll also want to use the advice below.
- Make sure your cellular account is protected by a PIN or password. When you call your cellular company to ask about your account, they should make you provide them with the PIN or password.
- It is a good idea to enable email and text notifications for your important accounts. If information is changed on your account, you’ll receive an email about it so you can act quickly.
- Don’t fall for scam phone calls. If someone calls asking for your account details, you should hang up and call the company directly.
- Finally, you should be cautious when sharing your private information. Don’t give anyone your information unless you know who you’re dealing with.
Contact Your Phone Company Quickly
If you become a victim of a port out scam, you should contact your phone company immediately. It takes time for the scammer to reset your account information so you may have time to stop this from happening. Contact your phone company and bank so you can prevent them from draining your account. Furthermore, you’ll want to file a report with your local police department. Placing a fraud alert on your credit reports is wise as well.