T-Mobile customers should be aware of the latest scam that targets phone numbers and allows access to bank accounts. The company alerted their customers to better educate them, with PIX11 reporting: “Scammers obtain your phone number, pretend to be a consumer and transport the number to another phone. The scam takes advantage of the fact that many bank accounts have password-recovery options tied to cellphone numbers. The numbers may also be connected to Facebook and Twitter accounts.”
For their customers’ security, T-Mobile has sent them messages instructing them on ways to add a security feature that would require a special passcode to validate any number porting request.
On T-Mobile’s website, the company answers a number of questions regarding the scam, writing: “We want to alert you that our industry is experiencing a phone number port out scam that could impact you, and to encourage you to add our port validation feature, if you haven’t done so already.”
The company further explains: “Fraudsters are attempting to compromise personal bank accounts by taking over and transferring phone numbers from one wireless provider to another. It’s a scheme that is affecting the entire wireless industry.”
To set up the port validation security measures, the company instructs consumers to do the following: “We suggest you add our port validation feature to your account. To do this, you’ll need to call 611 from your T-Mobile phone or dial 1-800-937-8997 from any phone. The T-Mobile customer care representative will ask you to create a 6-to-15-digit passcode that will be added to your account.”
They further explain that: “If someone attempts to port your number from T-Mobile to another wireless carrier, the new carrier will be required to validate the request with T-Mobile using your passcode.”
The new PIN/passcode, the company explains, “is in addition to your MyT-Mobile password. It’s an extra numeric PIN/passcode that is required for anyone to access your account if you call Care or if you go to a T-Mobile retail store.”
Further, the company notes: “Make sure you always have strong passwords on any online or mobile account. You may also consider checking with your bank to see if there is an alternative to using text-for-PIN authentication, such as email. For more information on privacy and security, please refer to our online privacy resources.”
On the T-Mobile Facebook page, a number of consumers shared that they had been victims of this scam, with one person writing: “Yesterday we were victims of identity theft. This is an increasingly common issue over at least the last few months, especially with #TMobile customers. Essentially someone managed to port our phone numbers to disposable phones, use those numbers and two factor identification to gain access to two separate accounts we have, both my wife’s and mine, then begin transferring money. We caught it in time to avoid irreparable damage, and our banks (#USAA AND #AlaskaUSAFCU) have been great.”
The customer advises others: “If your phone becomes disabled contact your bank immediately and lock your online accounts and change passwords. Our accounts were changed within minutes of them acquiring our numbers.