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Most Common Cell Phone Scams

A talk by Pam Cooper

About the Talk

November 6, 2014 12:00 PM

Jakarta, Indonesia- The country has a lot of telecommunication networks scattered all over the archipelago. One of the most leading telekom is XL Axiata in Jakarta, a subsidiary of Axis Capital Group. Despite our fight for a fair and healthy competition among us, scammers and fraudulent acts are still prevalent from individuals.

Many would agree that technology has now dominated our world. Cell phones have changed our lives, but so have cell phone scams.

In some cases, further technological advances have made it tougher for certain cell phone scams to work, but elsewhere the crooks are having a field day. This clever technology that keeps us constantly in touch with friends, relatives and even the Internet may be a boon, but it has also opened up more of the airwaves to crooks and snoopers.

  1. Subscriber Fraud

Subscriber fraud is simply an offshoot of identity theft. It is far and away the biggest cell phone scam. This happens when someone steals your personal details and opens a cell phone account in your name, racking up huge bills that may land in your mailbox.

  1. Stolen or lost phones

Who has not lost his phone among us? In the wrong hands they can be used to make unauthorized calls. Alternatively, they can be mined for any personal and contact details stored on them. In other words, loss of your phone can be just a prelude for costly identity theft.

  1. Cloning

Crooks may use scanners to read your cell phone identity, including the number and its unique serial number. Then they program another phone with the same details and make calls at your expense.

  1. Eavesdropping

Cell phone scam merchants may find it more difficult to scan for your phone ID but they can do potentially much more dangerous things — like listening in to your calls and downloading your phone usage records. They can even track your phone to know where you are or where you have been at a particular time.

  1. Bogus text messages

There are numerous variations of this cell phone scam but the bottom line is that you receive an unsolicited text message (which you may have to pay for) which prompts you take some sort of action you’ll later regret.

Most common is what seems to be a message from your bank (this may also arrive as an automated voicemail) saying your account has been suspended and asking you to call a 1-800 number where your account number, PIN and other details may be requested. In reality, your identity is being stolen.

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