When it comes to your finances, what is the one number that stands out the most to you? That ought to be your Social Security number, right? Is that the number for your bank account?


Could it be your mobile phone number?


When you request to make changes to your account, financial institutions, businesses, and


Payment services will frequently send you a verification text message to ensure that you are


who you say you are. Con artists who are astute as they come, know that if they take over,


your mobile phone number, they can claim to be you, intercept security codes that are


transmit it to your phone, and get into your financial and social media accounts.


The Con Behind the Porting-Out Scheme Exposed

Theft of your phone number can also be accomplished through the use of a porting-out


scheme. You are entitled to keep using the same mobile phone number even after switching


to the company that provides your phone service.


When customers call about their accounts, phone companies require account holders to


provide a personal identification number (PIN) or password. This measure was


implemented to ensure the integrity of the account management process. Scammers might


assume your identity and take over your phone number if they have sufficient personal


information about you.


Scammers are interested in acquiring private information about their victims, such as


their names, addresses, dates of birth, personal identification numbers (PINs), and the last


four digits of their Social Security numbers. Scammers may call their intended victims and


pose as a reputable company or organization, after which they may ask a series of questions


to obtain as much personal information as possible. The information may have


already been compromised and is accessible on the "dark web" in some instances.


Scammers deceive the victim's phone carrier into believing the porting request came


from the account holder when they issue a porting request on their victim's behalf.


If they succeed in their scheme, the con artist will transfer the victim's phone


number to a new mobile device or service account they have established.


This usually kicks off a race in which the con artist attempts to obtain the victim's


private texts and calls as well as attempt to reset their login details for as many of the


victim's financial and social media accounts as they can before the victim notices that


their device has lost service.

Once the con artist gains access,


their next goal is to wipe out their victims' bank accounts completely. In yet another


variation, they threaten to hold the victim for ransom or try to sell them access to their social


media accounts in exchange for money.


How to Protect Yourself from Harm


Take the initiative. Call your phone company and inquire about obtaining a personal identification number (PIN) or password to verify your identity when you call about your account.

Maintain your state of readiness by establishing email and text message notifications for all of your critical accounts, including your financial ones.


If you discover that changes were made to your account without your knowledge, you should get in touch with the firm that manages that account as soon as possible and let them know that you did not provide

permission for the modification.

Do Not Respond:

If someone phones or texts you and requests personal information, do not give it to them.


This includes answering the call or text. If the caller claims to be from a company you are


familiar with, hang up, and contact the company back using a number that you know is


legitimate. For example, you may use the number that is listed on your bill, in a phone book,


or on the company's website.


Don't reveal too much of your private information to other people. Do not provide personal


information such as the last four digits of your Social Security number, your phone number,


your date of birth, the make and model of your automobile, the name of your pet, or your


mother's maiden name, for instance. Your identification can be confirmed by using each one


of these items. Additionally, refrain from discussing it on any social media platforms.



Quickly proceed.


The loss of service on your device, such as when your phone turns dark or only allows


you to contact 911, is typically the first indication that something like this has occurred.


Do the following as soon as possible if you have any reason to believe that you have been


the victim of a porting-out scam:


Have a conversation with the phone company.


Talk to your bank and any other establishments dealing with your money.


File a police report


Put a fraud alert on your credit report and acquire copies of your report.


Always keep yourself informed.


Scams involving porting out can be researched further at the following consumer websites:

Commission of Interstate and Foreign Commerce


Better Business Bureau


Take Some Action!


CTIA is the abbreviation for the Wireless Association.


File a complaint

If you believe that you have been the victim of a "porting-out" fraud,

you have the ability to submit a complaint with the FCC for free.

In the Frequently Asked Questions section of the FCC Complaint Center,

you may get additional information on the agency's informal complaint process.

The FTC is also the place where you can report identity theft and consumer fraud.