By Sheriff Scott Henriod WPCSO  

If you have never heard of the new scam called “port-out” you’re not alone. When I first got the alert of the new scam that is spreading across the country I had to read it twice to understand how it works.

The scammer finds out a person’s name and telephone number and then attempts to gather as much personal information about them as possible. The scammers will then contact the person’s mobile phone provider, impersonating him or her, and inform the mobile phone provider that their phone was stolen and requests the number be “ported” to another provider and device. Once that takes place the scammer attempts to access you’re banking accounts and credit card accounts. So how do you know if this is taking place?

The first thing you are going to notice is that your phone is no longer working. Once that happens immediately contact your mobile phone provider and find out why your phone is not working. If they inform you that your phone number has been “ported” to another device immediately contact your banking establishment, credit card provider and any other business you have financial dealings with.

Some ways that were recommended to prevent this from happing is to ask your mobile phone provider about port-out-authorization. You can add a six digit pin number to your account to prevent unauthorized access.

Second watch out for suspicious emails or text messages. If you don’t know the sender, don’t open any attachments.

Third, watch your banking and credit accounts. Report any suspicious active to your financial establishment.

Last but not least if you get a notification from your phone provider that a transfer of services has taken place, contact them immediately to report the unauthorized activity.