A scammer may call your cell phone service provider and say your phone was lost or damaged. Then they ask the provider to activate a new SIM card connected to your phone number on a new phone. If your provider activates the new card, the scammer will receive all your texts, calls and data on the new phone.
“Once they have all of that information, first of all, they can target your friends but more importantly they now have your personal information so they can start stealing your identity,” said Roseann Freitas, Marketplace Manager of Better Business Bureau Hawaii.
Freitas says one way to protect yourself is setting up stronger privacy settings with your service provider directly.
“Setup a specific password or pin number so that nothing can happen to your account unless you give them that specific pin number,” said Freitas.
Another way to protect sensitive information from being stolen from your device is using multi-factor authentication apps instead of receiving text notifications.
“There are separate apps that you can do an authentication so that you are like okay I need to reset this password so it sends you a password to this other authentication app so that’s it’s not via a text message that’s tied to your phone,” said Freitas.
If you are a victim of this scam, Freitas suggests contacting your service provider and replacing your phone immediately.
“Change all passwords then go and look at your bank statements your credit card statements and make sure no activity has happened,” said Freitas.
If you have a concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call Monday through Friday at 591-0222. You can also send an email to ActionLine@khon2.com.