AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint have tried warning their customers about phone number port out scams however this is still one of the biggest problems for cellular service providers in 2018. But why should it be a problem for you? Well, your number is often used as second form of authentication when you make a purchase or need to login to secure accounts, so it can be a real problem if a thief gets hold of your number and receives your one-time codes. Phone number port out scams have become such a concern that service providers are now warning their customers.
What is Porting Out?
Porting out allows a customer to change service providers and maintain the same number, this is incredibly convenient for people who rely on their mobile for work and businesses with a well-known number. It means that you don’t have to inform everyone that you know of your new number change. Service providers are required to allow you to port your number, which is great for you when you want to leave them, because then they can’t keep your number hostage, but there are a few problems with having it as an option.
Why is it a Problem?
The convenience of phone number ports comes with its flaws – if you can get your number ported to a different provider then it is easy for a thief to also authorize a phone number port. Effectively cutting you off and redirecting all messages and phone calls to a device under their control. This could allow them to access your bank accounts and other sensitive accounts as the one-time codes will be sent to them instead of you. Unfortunately, many people have already fallen victim to this and why cellular service providers are adamant on making you aware of this.
What Can You Do to Avoid Port Out Scams?
Luckily, increasing your account security isn’t too much of hassle, especially now that the service providers are trying to make their customers aware of the issue and how to fix it.
You cannot prevent phone port out options on your account because the service providers are legally required to provide it as a service, but you can ensure that it is only possible after a few security measures have been met. Each providers method for authenticating your port out is different, but the common procedure is for you to contact them as soon as possible and provide them with a private and difficult to guess PIN, which they can ask for should you or someone else request a phone port out.
This just adds another layer of security to the usual details you are asked to provide such as your name, date of birth, etc as these can easily be found, by a talented thief. But ensure that you have chosen a unique PIN which you haven’t used for any other accounts, this PIN will different from the password you use to login to your service providers account. You don’t want a thief who already has your information to be able to easily guess the PIN. It is essential that you do everything possible to increase your account security and make it more difficult for someone to port out your number.