Have you heard of cell phone subscriber fraud? It’s when someone signs up for service with fraudulently-obtained information of false identification. Thieves obtain your personal information and use it to set up a cell phone account ---- in YOUR name.
They are able to pull this off because they have the victim’s name and Social Security number. Yes, this is another way identity theft can become expensive and complicate your life. You will be invoiced for the fraudulent account, and it will be a stressful and time consuming process to clean up the problem.
Protect yourself against subscriber fraud by being cautious about your personal information. Keep cross-cut shredding your old check stubs, bank statements and anything that has personal information on it. Only give out personal information when you know it is safe, that includes online purchases.
Places like craigslist have great buys. They also have scams! Be leery about giving out any personal information in these situations, subscriber fraud is escalating.
The good news is cell phone cloning is declining. Cloning happens when hackers acquire SIM card information by scanning the airwaves and making a copy of your phone. Hackers use an interceptor, hardware and software to record your SIM card and then copy the information to make a phone like yours.
You can guess what happens next. You get the bill for the cloned phone, calls and text messages.
Thanks to manufacturers making improvements in their products, cell phones are more resistant to remote tampering and reprogramming. However, cell phone cloning still exists and advancements are being made by thieves, too.
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FTC) carriers lose more than $150 million per year just to subscriber fraud alone. Obviously, you should check your phone bill faithfully every month.
Call your carrier if you think you have become a victim of cell phone fraud. Generally, your carrier will work with you.
To report a fraud or scam, call or email your local Better Business Bureau.