Have you ever thought about what criminals can do after stealing your cell phone number? After using his mobile phone for many years now, Zak Jones is amazed by the extensive cell phone number ID theft in the world today.
While talking to the ABC 33/40 News iTeam, Zak said, “Actually, that is pretty shocking” he was also reported saying, “You wouldn’t think that would actually happen to you.”
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Do You Know About The Widespread Cell Phone Number ID Theft?
Did you know that phone number identity theft is a major issue? Last year alone, it was reported that criminals hacked over 161,000 customer mobile accounts.
This is a 92% increase over the previous year. This is a research finding of Javelin Strategy & Research – an established financial advisory institution.
There are various ways through which criminals can steal your phone number. For example; through social media, data breaches, media posts or apps.
After stealing your cell phone number, they can use your identity to set up a new cell phone using that number whereby they can use it to send and receive calls and text messages. This was told by security experts.
One of the major highways where criminals can get potential access to your message and hack your accounts is through the use of your cell phone number to gain authentication texts on social media sites or online banking.
secureMySocial is a company owned by Joseph Steinberg, a popular cyber security expert and the company’s CEO Steinberg said, “ if you’re authenticating to a bank for example, and the bank sends you a one-time code to your cell phone that you’re supposed to enter to prove that it’s you, well now a criminal’s getting that,”
Did you know that your cell phone number is linked to most of your personal information?
Tom Martin who is a private investigator and the president of Martin Investigative services in Newport Beach California states that through a person’s cell phone number a criminal can gain access to a variety of private information.
Private information such as a person’s name, date of birth, social security number, current and previous addresses, driver’s license, vehicle identification number, home sales price, mortgage amount and more important information.
Learn How To Protect Your Cell Phone Number From Criminals:
Here is some professional advice from Steinberg on how to protect your cell phone number.
- Avoid sharing your phone number on social media.
- Strong passwords should be used. For example; the use of numbers to separate three memorable words that are not related. You can use a foreign word in between.
- Use passwords whenever you want to make changes to your cell phone account.
- If you receive random emails or texts messages from strangers with links in it. Don’t click on their links, due to malware.
- If you look at your phone and you see the following message: “emergency call service only” you should call your cell phone company immediately. This is what usually happens when your phone number has been transferred to another phone by a criminal.
Criminals are becoming more sophisticated and they continue to find new ways to get your personal information so you must be vigilant.
Experts advise that you treat your cell phone number like your social security number. You must guard it and protect it as much as you can.