What to Do If Your Verizon Account Was Hacked
With the prevalence of cyber attacks growing every year, security is more important than ever. While we often hear about credit card fraud, password theft, and corporate data breaches, it’s less common to hear about phone accounts getting hacked. But cellphone accounts with companies like Verizon are becoming a popular target for cybercriminals. Let’s find out how these hacks happen and how you can prevent them from happening to you.
What Can Happen if Your Account is Hacked?
Your phone account is one of the worst accounts to lose because so many security features of your other accounts are tied to it. If someone gets into your phone account, they may use it to access your banking and credit card accounts, and anyone who’s experienced identity theft knows how hard it can be to untangle.
Aside from using your phone number to access other accounts, the thief can also use it to order new equipment. Criminals will gain access to your account, order a new phone on your dime, and then turn around and sell it for a profit.
This tactic works especially well with Verizon phones because they can be used on any network, making them attractive options for unsuspecting buyers. Verizon claims around 7,000 subscribers are impacted by this scheme every month. The company is currently trying to get the FCC to approve a 60-day lock on its phones to help prevent this type of fraud by limiting how soon the phones can be switched to a new network.
How Your Verizon Account Can be Compromised
So, just how can your phone account be hacked? There are a few different ways:
Phishing. Good old-fashioned phishing scams are a relatively common way for a crook to get access to your phone account. A malicious third party can send a fake message about your account and request a password or other information that could help them get access to your Verizon account.
Social Engineering. Scammers can trick your provider into giving them access without providing all the documents and proof of identity typically necessary.
Data Breaches. One of the most publicized methods of compromising your phone account is stealing PIN numbers and security question answers from the companies themselves.
What to do if You Suspect Your Account is Hacked
If your Verizon account has been compromised, don’t worry! There are some concrete steps you can take to minimize damages and reduce the chance of this happening again.
Report suspicious activity immediately. Verizon has a page where you can report account fraud. Although Verizon does have a fraud department that monitors for suspicious activity, it’s best to be proactive and let them know if you notice something off with your account.
Never give out personal information. If you’re randomly called from someone claiming to be a Verizon rep and asking for info, do not give it to them. Companies almost never ask you for personal info like passwords or PIN numbers unless you’ve requested an action that requires them.
Invest in identity theft protection. There are several companies that provide identity theft protection and monitoring services to help catch problems before things get out of hand. Plans generally run between $10.00 and $20.00 per month, though they can be cheaper.
Whether you’ve been a victim of identity theft before or just want to make sure it never happens to you, knowledge is key. You can avoid the worst outcomes from identity theft by knowing the risks of losing your phone account, what to watch for, and what to do if it happens to you. Don’t let your guard down![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]