The Comox Valley RCMP is reminding residents to be vigilant when handing out personal information after receiving several reports of a popular cell phone scam.
The scam typically involves SIM card swapping and/or phone number porting, which allows scammers access to valuable personal information. The scammer will call the phone company and impersonate the victim to gain access to their mobile account, start making changes to the account, and then start making changes to other accounts associated with the phone.
“The scammer can call the phone company and get the phone number ported over to a different SIM card, and then that … gets them access to a lot of the victim’s account information,” said Const. Monika Terragni, media relations officer, Comox Valley RCMP. “As a result of this type of fraud, thousands of dollars have been lost here in the Comox Valley. In addition to the financial loss, victims are spending countless hours getting their accounts back in order.”
The scammer will have gained identifying information about the victim (i.e. birthdate, home address) to satisfy the phone company of authenticity.
Do not answer text messages, click on links or answer emails asking for personal information. If any of the emails or text messages are about porting your phone number or if you lose service on your device – contact your service provider immediately by calling them directly.
“That’s the most important thing to get out there,” said Terragni. “If you have any indication through text messages, email, call your cell phone company right away, and call them directly. Don’t click on a link, or a text message. Look their number up online, and call them directly. And if you all of a sudden lose service on your cell phone and you should have service, look into that right away, because they will start hacking your accounts.”
For more information, please visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: https://bit.ly/32yJD3w