FEB 10 2018

Scammers swipe phone numbers from TMobile customers mobile phoneto steal money

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For Hartwig, the trouble began Jan. when she got a message from TMobile alerting her about a change in her service.

TMobile, based in Bellevue, provided a link on its website dedicated to this scam. It states in part, Our industry is experiencing a phone number port out scam that could impact you.

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Technology experts said thieves then contact the victims bank and when they want to reset the password on that account, a verification code is sent to the phone number on the mobile device in the scammers hands. That allows thieves to get in and empty out, or at least try to empty out, the account.

I said Wait a minute, no, I did not authorize any changes to my account, she said.

Its something Hartwig wishes she had known. She received a from TMobile warning her about the scam more than a week after she was targeted.

Police in Bellevue and Seattle said they do not have any cases of using this kind of scam at this point.

TMobile customers were targeted in a phone number scam in Washington.

Then, in this case, the thieves take their victims TMobile phone number, and using that personal information, transfer that number to a Metro PCS phone. That means their Metro PCS phone now has the victims phone number attached to it, and the victims phone no longer works.

Fortunately, Hartwig was able to get the bank to freeze her account before thieves were able to gain access to the money.

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Police in Washington State said they are investigating seven cases ofscammers stealing phone numbersfrom TMobile customers in Redmond so they can access their bank accounts.

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The victims weve seen in the seven different reports weve had theres been anywhere from , to , taken each time, WolfBuck said.

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There also was a confirmed case in Everett, where a woman nearly lost , when thieves attempted the scam on her.

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People are very creative and inventive with finding ways to steal, she said.

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Hartwig said customer service was not helpful, but after repeated attempts, she finally got service restored to her phone.

It was , and I had , in the account, she said. So they had successfully got on my account, got on my bank account, saw what we had in the bank, and tried to take all but .

The moment that happened, Hartwig received a fraud alert from Chase bank.

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The scam is not just specific toTMobile customers. Redmond police said the phone scam could affect anyone with a mobile phone who does not have a second layer of protection, such as an additional passcode.

Reports show similar scamting Verizon, Sprint and ATT customers in and as recently as August .

They basically yeah stole my number they had my phone cut off, Carrie Hartwig said.

She explained it all starts with thieves getting your personal information your name, phone number and likely your Social Security number.

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Redmond police spokeswoman Andrea WolfBuck said they had never seen this specific scam until cases started popping up in December.

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Police advise anyone with a cell phone to check with their wireless carrier and make sure they have that extra passcode set up to prevent this from happening.

If anyone tries to steal your number, the new carrier will be required to validate the request with TMobile using your passcode.

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The site recommends people call from your TMobile phone … [and] create a todigit passcode that will be added to your account.

TMobile customers were targeted in a phone number scam in Washington.

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