Thieves Hijack Cell Phones To Access Bank Accounts
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma woman says a new form of identity theft has turned her life upside down.
Thieves are now hijacking cell phones to hit bank accounts
"You feel like you don't exist anymore really because you have no phone, you have no credit cards, you have no bank accounts. Nobody can get a hold of you. It's so awful. It's a mess," said identity theft victim "Megan."
For "Megan," it started Tuesday, January 9. She got a text message on her T-Mobile cellphone that her password had just changed, then her cell phone shut down altogether.
"So, I log into my email and sure enough, I see they have already stolen $4,500 at that point, then they stole another $600 within minutes," she said. "And, we're talking about 15 minutes from the initial text at this point. So, they moved really, really fast. This is your life. It's your credit card, your bank accounts. It's your phone number."
It's called or porting scam or a port out scam.
Better Business Bureau spokesman Sean Rose said identity thieves use cellphone numbers they steal to lock people like "Megan" out of their phones.
"And, then basically have your phone cloned and utilize that to sidestep security authorizations that you may have in place to access your financial data," he said. "It's incredibly scary."
Megan filed a police report.
The Better Business Bureau says cell phone customers can ask with their carrier about adding extra security measures.