Grapevine Police are seeing an increase in the number of cell phone number thefts.
Criminals convince a wireless carrier to transfer the victim's phone number to a new phone and company. From there, scammers can gain access to all of the Apps and accounts stored on the victim's phone, and can have all of the passwords reset. Thieves can empty bank accounts and other financial services in a matter of minutes.
In Grapevine, three victims have been targeted between December 30, 2019 and January 7, 2020. All of the victims are customers of Verizon.
Police want all cell phone users to look for signs of cell phone fraud. If someone gets a text notification that an account is changing, or their service has been transferred to another company, that person needs to report it to their phone carrier, bank, and police immediately.
GPD also recommends cell phone users have a list of all accounts linked to their phone, so they can quickly change passwords to prevent thieves from accessing those accounts. Most cell phone carriers will also allow customers to set up a PIN or password that must be used before someone can change services or carriers.