Have you ever worried about your personal information being stolen from your cellphone? If not, you probably should. Even if you’re like FBI Special Agent Kim Otto who has layers upon layers of security surrounding her wireless devices, your privacy still might be at risk.
Last week I wrote about how stalkerware can be downloaded off the internet, sometimes for free, allowing people to discover where you are and track your movements through your mobile phone. They may even be able to track your web activity and text messages without you knowing. Scary, right?
Unfortunately, that’s not all that you need to worry about. There are many other ways that criminals can access your cellphone to steal your identity, con your friends and family, or wrack up hundreds of dollars in phone bills.
Keep on reading to learn more about two mobile phone scams that you should be aware of!
#1 Unsolicited verification codes
It’s a common security measure to receive a verification code via text when you make changes to your bank account online or set up an email address. Although we often rely on two two-factor authorization to protect us, some scammers have figured out ways to bypass this security measure, or even use it to their advantage.
For example, a criminal may call you posing as a phone carrier or other institution. The scammer will then claim that a verification code has been sent to your phone and will ask for you to tell them the code to verify your account. Once they have your verification code, they will be able to access any of your accounts set up with two-factor authorization. Your cellphone number will then be transferred to a new carrier.
Once the cell number has been transferred to a new carrier you will lose phone service. This crime is called “porting” and can have serious ramifications. If you don’t use your mobile phone regularly you may not immediately realize something is wrong. This provides criminals with more time to access your bank account, open up credit cards, or conduct other forms of fraud.
If you receive an unsolicited verification code from a bank or phone company, always verify with the company first using a phone number listed on their website. Above all, do not share unsolicited verification codes with anyone!
Did you know that your mobile phone could be held for ransom by scammers? When a cybercriminal holds your phone hostage it will freeze and then a screen will pop up with a message saying that your device was frozen due to a law violation. To gain access to your device you will have to pay a fine by depositing money into a debit account.
The best way to prevent this type of scam is to only download apps and that you are familiar with, and avoid apps that are not available on your phone’s app store. You should also be careful when using public Wi-Fi.
How does all of this relate to Jack of Spades? Read to find out!