Fast-Moving Cell Phone Scam Spreads To Minnesota
Smart phone owners, listen up. It could save you a lot of time and money.
According to the Duluth News Tribune, a very dangerous and fast-moving scam has hit Minnesota. Here's how it works:
- A scammer gets your name, number and some personal information.
- From there, they contact your service provider pretending to be you and report your phone as stolen.
- Next, they request the number be transferred over to another service provider and phone.
- Once this is secured, the scammer starts accessing accounts that require a one-time code to enter. These codes are often sent via text message.
The scam is also known as "cell phone porting" or "port-out scam." The tricky thing about it is that many don't know it is happening until it is too late, as they receive random text messages and lose service.
This happened to a Shakopee woman who says she lost service and received a text thanking her for joining a different service provider. She went directly to said provider and they told her her number had been transferred over earlier that day. Shortly after, someone had accessed her bank account.
Thankfully, she stopped the scam before it went too far but others have reported losing money.
Here are a few ways you can protect yourself:
- Set up a pin or security question for your service provider to provide an extra layer of security.
- If your phone glitches up and switches into 'Emergency Calls Only' mode, call your service provider immediately.
- Watch for texts from your bank and unauthorized authentication requests. Act on unusual situations fast.
For more tips on how to protect yourself, visit the Better Business Bureau.