Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay
You shouldn’t be too worried If a scammer has your phone number. But you should still take some precautions knowing that these criminals have your number or other information.
What can be done with a phone number?
- Lookup Information About You – By doing a quick google search, your number can reveal additional personal information about you. This can be used for various
- Spoof Your Number – Scammers can change the caller ID to your number and attempt to scam your family and friends. The can send a text message that seems to be from you, to try have them click a malicious link.
- Steal Your Number – The scammer could try to transfer your phone number to another phone (SIM) they control.
- Access Your Accounts – Scammers can bypass text (SMS) two-factor authentication on your accounts and possibly take control them over.
What You Can Do
- Report it to your phone carrier – By reporting it to your carrier (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, etc…), they can improve the security on your account to prevent any unauthorized changes. If your number has been stolen, then ask your carrier to port your number back to your phone.
- Change your passwords – You should consider changing your password on your accounts, such as your bank, email, social media.
- Notify Family & Friends – Let your family and friends know that your number may be used for malicious acts.
- Don’t Give Out Your Number – Stop giving out your number to anyone who asks. Stay clear of website and apps that link to your phone.
Other Steps to Take
If you’ve been scammed, do the following:
- Go to IdentityTheft.gov and see what steps you should take.
- Report the scam to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov
- Check what type of scams are happening in your state or metro area by visiting ftc.gov/exploredata
Need Some Help?
If you have been scammed or know someone who has been, contact me for technical guidance.