Cell Phone Scam Hits Some Minnesota Residents Who Had Bank Accounts Hacked
It really pays to stay on top of notifications on your smart phone as one Twin Cities woman found out and thankfully acted quickly to resolve. According to the Duluth News Tribune, Tina Anderson of Shakopee noticed on Monday that she received a text message welcoming her to Metro-PCS, but her phone carrier is T-Mobile.
Naturally she was alarmed by this and she went directly to Metro-PCS and was told her number had been transferred from T-Mobile that day. Scammers had already accessed her bank account transferring all her money from her savings to her checking account and even changed her information on her Capitol One account.
Thankfully Anderson caught everything in time before all her money was gone. This all starts when a scammer gets your name and phone number and then acquires more information. They will then call your phone service provider claiming to be you and say the phone was lost or stolen and you need the number ported to another carrier and device.
Victims have called it "cell phone porting" or "port- out- scam" So how can you protect yourself?
- Call your cell phone provider and speak to them about setting up a unique pin # or question verification in order for anything to be authorized.
- If your phone switches to "Emergency Calls Only" contact your wireless provider immediately and report this, your number could have been transferred to another carrier. Also report this to the police and call your bank immediately.
- Watch out for alerts and text messages from your financial institutions and authentication request you did not authorize.