Cell Phone Identity Theft In 2014
Did you know that cell phone users (even non-smartphones) are 30% more likely to get their identity stolen?
1. Stealing your identity is as easy as buying it from an Information Broker for .50! Yep, for less than the cost of 2 candy bars your life will be ruined!
Information Broker: One who tracks both legally and illegally your every move online and off to sell for profit! The multi-billion dollar industry is growing despite protections in place and them being sued by the FTC! They don’t care and they don’t verify the buyers!
2. Scanners that use radio and air waves to listen in on your calls are undetectable!
3. Getting your Social Security number is as easy as knowing your name and address which can easily be obtained as it is public information!
I did an experiment to see how much information I could get for free using a credible tracking site. I put in a first and last name and I got what town they lived in, their age, birth-date, their family members and that they had social site accounts. On another site the more personal information I put in the more personal information I got out of it FREE!
4. Number Masking: They mask their number and put yours in place of it calling, texting your loved ones hijacking them and running up your phone bill!
5. They can hijack your cellphones camera watching everything you do, type and say!
6. They can get into your phone via public and unprotected private WiFi, Bluetooth and even 3g/4g!
7. Social Hacking: Comment/Like on your posts, they seem nice, so you add them and they then have your full name, the town you live in and can connect silently to your account without actually hacking it. No Alerts will be sent, because they are not hacking into your account!
8. You go to a quiet place thinking you are alone to make a private call, but are you? NO! Someone could be eavesdropping!
9. People you have known for years or that window replacement guy you called come into your home and use their cell camera to take pictures of papers you have laying around like mail.
10. Your Jail broken Phones are EASY To Hack, because you’ve already opened the door!
11. You really want that app, but it’s on a website, not the iTunes or the Android Play Store! You’ve just downloaded malware
12. Doctors Office: Increasing numbers of people are getting their identity stolen via cell phones while at the doctors! This is one of the major reasons they tell you to turn your cell phone off while at the doctors!
You have protection for this type of thing right? Only limited! People are being saddled with the criminals debts incurred using your information for years! It ruins your life as you have bad credit and 120,000 in bills! Companies don’t care they want their money and you are the one they can reach! Even when it is all settled years later that note on your credit report saying you had your identity stolen makes you higher risk to lenders!
So what do you do?
1. Password protect your phone!
2. Download security that you can set to scan now and then automatically delete all info on your phone should someone attempt to unlock it so many times. It should have tracking to locate the lost/stolen phone. Password protect the security program too!
Did you know? Only 7% of people report lost or stolen phones? Reporting it can help dramatically, because they can shut down your service making it impossible for the criminals to sign up for things and run up your bill!
3. Don’t store anyone’s identifying information on your phone! They will go for Grandpa first! Don’t use full names or relative statuses!
4. Don’t store your friend’s social site information on your phone especially in contacts!
5. When in public: Don’t use wifi, 3g/4g, location services or even Bluetooth. Make sure your phone is not discoverable by other devices! Don’t have personal conversations. Just turn your cell phone off!
6. When not using the cell phone turn it off even at home! If you must have your cell phone on, turn off the Bluetooth, location services and all internet to it! Make sure it is not discoverable by other devices as well!
Did you know? People getting random calls from strangers asking for their friends are often scammers trying to hijack your phone? Don’t answer unknown or blocked calls. If it continues to happen change your number!
7. Verify the number to legit businesses before calling back, never click links in texts (even those you think are from friends) as they could have had their number hijacked and you could get your identity stolen.
8. Do all business transactions with trustworthy well known companies in person at their legit offices. If you do have to call never give your full name, phone number and physical address over the phone! Make an appointment to go there in person.
9. Remove all pictures and information off your phone, back it up to a secure place as you know scammers use your pictures and information as their own!
10. Don’t have your phone set to automatically login to sites and programs! Require a password for the password reminders!
Fact: Most Cell phones run off digital which sounds like the old modems that translated digital signal into voice or data. You remember how easy it was to hijack dial up right? Well cell phones are only a tiny bit safer, but not enough to protect your personal stuff!
Will they ever solve the scammer issue? NO, because other countries like Nigeria refuse to cooperate, so we just have to be smarter about it. Don’t let anyone tell you that your phone is completely safe as anything that is made by man, can be hacked by another man!
Even Mac has been hacked; it’s harder, but it has been done, so be careful!
Is it just strangers stealing my identity? Nope, it’s becoming common for long time neighbors, friends, former friends, relatives, ex relatives, disgruntle employees and people we would not suspect doing it!
Did you know? Everyone knows at least one person who has had an identity theft scare? An identity theft happens every 3 seconds and increasing numbers have reported it happening twice due to store data breaches.
Fact: You can reduce your risk of being listened in on by using a wired landline phone in your home (NOT VOIP), so if you MUST make an important phone call do so when alone at home using the wired landlines! Never use any cordless as they can all be heard on the right scanners!
Just remember NTD!
1. Never give any information or agree to anything on the phone or internet ONLY deal in person face to face with trusted people and businesses you know!
2. Turn it off if you aren’t using it!
3. Don’t answer your phone if you don’t know them!
Other Things You Can Do:
1. Write all credit reporting agencies requesting a block on getting your credit checked without your verified written permission and ID each time!
2. Tell credit or financial institutions to note your account to block all changes, additions, upgrades or loans unless you show up in person to their office, bank (etc) with multiple valid ID.
3. Call your cell phone company and have all your international calls/texts, short codes and subscription services blocked and require you have to go into the cell phone store to change, upgrade or add anything!
4. Call cell phone company and have them remove the details on your bill (I.E. Outgoing and Incoming Calls) to protect everyone’s information from being stolen from an Information Broker!
Disclaimer: I am not an expert, but have had my identity stolen. The information provided is a mix of the latest tips and knowledge from various personal and government websites including the FTC. There are no guarantees or warranties as to each their own perception and experiences.