The RCMP are warning the public about a cell phone number porting scam making the rounds in the South Okanagan.
The cell phone “port-out” scam has been seen recently by Penticton officers, and is becoming an increasingly popular method for scammers to steal from unsuspecting citizens.
The scam involves a scammer finding one’s name and phone number and then attempting to gather as much information about you. Then, the scammer uses this information to contact your mobile provider requesting your number be ported over to a new phone. Once they have the number ported over to a new device, they are able to gain access to internet accounts which require a text-to-phone code for verification. This text is often referred to as “2-factor authentication,” and is increasingly being used by online banking to keep accounts secure.
Tips to protect yourself:
1. Ask your mobile phone provider to set up a unique pin code to prevent porting without your authorization.
2. Watch out for your cell phone disconnecting from cell service.
3. Be careful of texts and emails you receive which request information from you, often called “phishing.”
If you become a victim of this kind of scam, please report it to your local RCMP detachment.