It's all part of a growing scam. One woman says she had her number stolen three times.
Tracy was stunned when the cell phone she uses for her cleaning business just stopped working.
"It was six days of nonstop aggravation. I can't even tell you how many phone calls I've had."
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She called her phone company, T-Mobile, and learned someone pretended to be her and ported her number to a Verizon account to a pre-paid phone.
"T-Mobile is saying, "we're just doing what you requested, even though it wasn't us, and Verizon is saying they are doing what they were told to do."
It took hours to get it sorted out.
But just when she thought it was taken care of, It happened again, this time to her husband's business cell phone....
"You're kidding, basically, it's like, "are you serious?"
And then the next day, it happened a third time.
"With the millions and millions of phone numbers out there, what are the odds that two of my phone numbers are hit three times in a week?"
It's a growing scam crooks porting over cell phone numbers. It's another way to steal your identity.
They either run up your bill or they've already stolen your identity.
Just imagine what happens when a bank calls to confirm your purchase and the crook answers... on your phone number.
The cases are increasing rapidly each year according to the Federal Trade Commission. In 2013, the FTC says there were 1,038 cases which increased by 2016 to 2,658 cases.
So what can you do to keep this from happening to you?
- Make sure your account has a pin number or password and ask your carrier to refuse any changes without it.
- If someone calls asking you strange questions - hang up. They may be trying to get your personal information.
- When you're finished with your phone, don't throw it away. Make sure to get your information off first.