You know that cyber-hackers are on the lookout for an opening to attack your computer.
And lately, those cell phone robo-callers have become even more annoying.
Now, there’s a brand new threat. You need to be extra vigilant, as hackers have started bombarding cell phones with dangerous “phishing” calls trying to breach your security.
I should know; I got one of these calls today.
Here’s how it works.
Your phone rings. It looks like a legitimate call from your cell phone provider, conveying an urgent message. “Your cell service has been hacked,” or suspended, they say, and will be immediately disconnected if you don’t call in right away to reauthorize service.
They give you a number to call (undoubtedly fake) and if you do call in, they’ll want the last four numbers of your Social, or perhaps your cell account number and password. If you give them that information, you risk compromising your personal and financial security.
Be aware that these calls are fake, and the number calling you – even if it appears legit – is only “spoofing” another number. This is just the latest in a series of scams designed to hack your accounts and cost you money.
If you do get these calls, here’s what you can and should do:
- Hang up.
- If you want to confirm that it’s truly a fake call, contact your cell phone service provider at the number on your bill, or on their legit website. They can tell you if there is any problem with your account.
- Sign up for a free or low-cost robo-call blocking service. Check your cell phone service provider’s website for their recommendations. The good news is that more robo-blockers are becoming available, and the cell phone companies are coordinating ways to combat the latest onslaught of junk calls.
- Do not respond directly to phone calls, messages or emails purporting to be from your cell phone company, or any other financial provider. Only reach out to them on numbers previously verified and known to you.
- Look for additional security tips on your cell provider’s website. Helpful tips include locking your phone, keeping your operating system updated, deleting unused apps, granting permissions carefully, avoiding auto login features, and of course, using a robo-blocker.