Why Do Scammers Ask For Your Phone Number
As the technological landscape in the field of mobile communication continues to evolve, it unintentionally enables more mobile phone-related scams to be pulled off. Mobile phone scams are pretty costly as the victims can end up losing their hard-earned money, be subjected to harassment from different people including the scammer and can sometimes be forced to take extreme steps because of the scammer’s blackmailing tactics.
Understanding the Causes
With increasing threats of security breaches and access frauds, companies have stepped up security levels in their dealings with customers. One such initiative is the “Two-factor-Authentication” system, in which your mobile phone serves as the authenticating device. This system protects the online accounts of users from being hacked solely on the knowledge of the passcode and will send the user a one-time password (OTP) to the registered mobile phone number and when that number is input back into the system, you will gain access to perform normal functions like resetting a password and so forth.
Depending on the security of the system, there is a loophole for a scammer – if they can get their hands on your number without actually stealing your mobile phone, then they will be able to intercept all of the onetime codes that are being sent to you, and they can use that information to perpetrate frauds.
This scam is known as the “port-out” scam, and many people have been affected by it. The scammers using the personal information of the victims – which they can easily obtain on the dark web, can convince mobile phone companies that they are the rightful owner of the victim’s mobile number, and can in a few cases get the number ported over – without the victim realizing for a while. In those few hours before the victim notices the loss of service in their mobiles, the scammers have already intercepted several onetime codes and make away with the money or whatever asset of the victims they are after.
In some cases, scammers will ask you for your phone number, so that they can send fraudulent text messages to your number trying to fake a bank message or a similar important message and use the information that you provide them to scam you out of your hard-earned money. Cloning phones with the knowledge of the unique serial number of the phone as well as your mobile number is pretty easily done these days, and scammers can use it to intercept all of your calls and texts.
In some worse cases, scammers can use your phone number to send you text messages with malicious links in them – when opened, can wreak havoc with your phone, installing viruses and ransomware – which will lead to you losing your data if you do not pay the scammer.
What Should You Do?
In order to avoid such scams and to protect yourself, avoid giving out your phone number to unverifiable people, preferring instead to use other non-personal methods of communication, which guard your identity and are not related to crucial services such as your banking accounts and so forth.
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