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Penticton RCMP issue warning of scammers stealing cellphone numbers

Police say the port-out scam is becoming an increasingly popular method for scammers to steal from unsuspecting citizens.
Police say the port-out scam is becoming an increasingly popular method for scammers to steal from unsuspecting citizens. Global News

Penticton RCMP have issued a warning about scammers stealing your cellphone number.

According to police, the scam is called cellphone number porting, and it involves unscrupulous individuals stealing your cellphone number without your knowledge.

Police say the port-out scam has been seen recently by South Okanagan officers, and is becoming an increasingly popular method for scammers to steal from unsuspecting citizens.

READ MORE: Two elderly women lose $1.25M, $85K following online scams: London police

“The scam involves a scammer finding one’s name and phone number and then attempting to gather as much information about you,” Penticton RCMP said in a press release.

“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.

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“This text is often referred to as two-factor authentication, and is increasingly being used by online banking to keep accounts secure.”

SIM card swapping scam leaves victims vulnerable to identity theft
SIM card swapping scam leaves victims vulnerable to identity theft

Below are tips from police to protect yourself from this scam:

  • Ask your mobile phone provider to set up a unique pin code to prevent porting without your authorization.
  • Watch out for your cell phone disconnecting from cell service.
  • Be careful of texts and emails you receive which request information from you, often called phishing.
Scam phone calls seem to be on the rise
Scam phone calls seem to be on the rise