The battle against cybercriminals is always evolving. That's because when we catch on to their scams they change them up to find more victims.
Which is why we're always having to come up with more secure ways of protecting our critical information. Can you imagine the damage that could be done if a hacker is able to get access to sensitive data on your smartphone?
Well, there's a new scam dubbed porting going around that would do just that.
What is a porting scam?
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning Americans about a fairly new scam making the rounds. It's known as a porting or port-out scam.
It works like this. A fraudster finds out critical information about you such as your name, phone number, Social Security number, date of birth and more. Much of this information is obtainable on the Dark Web thanks to the massive Equifax data breach that we learned about last year.
Once the criminal has this information they call your mobile phone service provider pretending to be you, and tell them that you're switching to another company but want to keep your phone number. Transferring your number from say Verizon to AT&T is a process called porting.
The porting process takes up to 24 hours to complete. During this time both phones will be functional. Meaning, any text messages that you receive on your phone will also be seen by the scammer on the phone your number is being transferred to.
This opens the door for all kinds of problems. If you have two-factor authentication set up on your bank accounts, or any online sites for that matter, the scammer will be able to get the code needed to log into your account. From there, you could become a victim of identity theft and even have money stolen from your bank accounts.
Now, don't let this turn you against two-factor authentication. It's an important security feature that you should be using whenever possible.
The problem isn't two-factor, it's the criminals trying to rip you off. There are ways to prevent falling victim to these types of scams, keep reading for suggestions.
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