(Memphis) Your cell phone can be a life line, with all kinds of information stored about you.
“When you put your personal information on your phone, you think it is secure because it’s your phone, but nothing that is yours is really yours if somebody can take it,” one cell phone customer told us.
Scammers have a new way to take what’s yours through that little SIM card in your phone that stores all your data.
The scammers call you cell phone pretending to be your carrier and offering to give a discount on your monthly phone bill if you take part in a short survey. They already have your name and just need a few more things, the last four digits of your Social Security Number.
It sounds legitimate,so you go along, but you may have just been scammed.
“When they have all that identifying information, they can call your carrier and switch your SIM card from a device you own to another phone,” says Nancy Crawford. Marketing Director for the Better Business Bureau in the MidSouth.
Thieves then make costly international calls to your account.
If your banking information was stored on the phone, they have that too.
It happened to several people in the Atlanta area.
The Midsouth Better Business Bureau says Memphis could be next.
“Never give out your personal identifying information on an unsolicited phone call or in response to an email that is unsolicited. You never know who is on the other end,” says Crawford.
She says if you get one of the calls, hang up and call your carrier directly to see if they really are the ones behind it.
Taking a few extra steps can avoid one costly mis-step.
Many of the victims never realized they were scammed until their phones suddenly stopped working.
Some cell phone carriers are now requiring customers set up passcodes before they can move their SIM card to another phone.