Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Number Porting Scam!!

There is a new one out there, that is starting to spread rapidly, and unfortunately, time is of the essence in dealing with it! Cell Phone Number Porting, or Unauthorized Porting.

Which is - the process of hijacking your cell phone number, and having it ported to another carrier. Then the scammer convinces a call center that they are you, and voila. Your information is sent to the scammer's SIM card. From there, all your data is copied over, and they begin downloading email apps and all the apps that you had on your phone. Then password resets are requested, and eventually, they get ahold of everything you had on your phone.

Think your safe? Even if you had/have the P.I.N. number on your phone or two-factor authentication via text or call, guess where that goes now.

Another thing with this scam is, there is a text sent to you saying that there has been a request to port your number to another carrier. It goes on to say if you did not authorize this to contact your carrier immediately. Well, this process only takes about 10 minutes. So if you don't get ahold of your carrier in that time frame to tell them it is not you requesting the port-over, the headaches begin.  In other words, if you see this has happened to you. Start changing your passwords, ALL of them!  Here is where I suggest using a password manager, as they will set highly secure passwords that are impossible to crack.  Check out Dashlane, or 1Pass or even  PasswordSafe.  You can also do a simple google search for "Free password managers" or just give that a click.  It is best to use an offline password manager, although any highly secure and encryption password managers are fine.

*photo courtesy of Krista Conrad and the St. Albert Gazette

Here is a link to her story regarding this scam as well.  Cellphone Hijacking in the Foothills

Here is another courtesy of Global News - New Phone Scams

CTV has a story as well  Winnipeg woman targeted by phone porting scam.

Once again, do NOT call or text any phone number or email that you do not recognize! Especially the ones regarding these types of things.

Your SIN number does not expire, the CRA will not call you and ask for payments in pre-paid cards, etc.

Even with the phone number spoofing going on, if anything like this happens to you, ask or request that you call them back directly. If they say no, something is fishy.  Do a little research, it can go a long way.

If you receive a text saying your number is about to be ported:

1. Call your provider and ask where it is being ported too
2. Call that company and have it suspended immediately!

Do NOT wait!
Do NOT pass off as spam!
Never call any unusual phone numbers in those texts! (Use the customer service numbers you are used to)
Never answer emails or click on rogue links that may compromise your data.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Center Worth the read!!


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