Identity Theft Via Mobile Phones
Identity theft has been a major issue for many years now and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down in the near future. In fact, identity thieves are getting more resourceful and looking for new ways to gain access to people’s information. One way in which identity thieves are now taking information from people is through their cell phones. When it comes to credit management, your cell phone may not be as safe as you previously thought.
Hacking Your Phone
Hackers have a number of different tools that they can use to hack into your cell phone. If you have a smart phone with a web browser, a hacker could easily use a laptop with a Wi-Fi connection to hack into your cell phone. Then, anything that you view on your cell phone screen could be seen by the hacker on his laptop. If you happen to be shopping online and use your credit card information, a hacker could take the credit card number and start using it.
Unattended Cell Phones
In some cases, identity thieves take advantage of people who leave their cell phones sitting around in random areas. For example, if you leave your phone on your desk at work, someone could come by and steal sensitive information off of it. If you leave your phone on the table at the coffee shop while you walk up to the counter, an identity thief could take advantage of that. If you use your cell phone for common credit management tasks, it could come back to haunt you.
Another technique that some identity thieves use is referred to as “spoofing”. With spoofing, the identity thief called your phone and makes it look like a number that you know. This could be used by an identity thief to pose as a financial institution like your bank or credit union. The identity thief may be able to trick you into giving him sensitive information that can be used to take advantage of your credit.
In some cases, identity thieves will go through the process of hacking into your cell phone and listening to your voicemail. This is especially true for individuals who do not have a password set up on their voicemail. If you want to safeguard your voicemail, get a password set up immediately and make sure that it is not like any other passwords that you have on other accounts.
If you are interested in credit management and making sure that someone else does not take advantage of your good name, you need to take some proactive steps to thwart identity thieves. Signing up for a credit monitoring service could provide you with an added layer of protection. These credit management services make it impossible for new accounts to be opened without your approval. You should also be careful how you use your cell phone. Try to avoid entering any sensitive information into your phone whenever possible. You never know who might be looking.
Joseph White is a counselor, admired Credit Guard, and writes about his experiences with identity theft.