Alert: Common Cell Phone Scams - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Alert: Common Cell Phone Scams

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - We know cell phone cameras can be used inappropriately at times even illegally.

The problem is because of how good the pictures are now from these cameras. And thieves are using them to get picture perfect shots of your checks and stealing money right out of your bank account.

COMMON CELL PHONE SCAMS

Cell phone companies are working hard to make it more difficult for thieves to take advantage of cell phone users, but there are still plenty scams out there. In this article we'll go over what you can do to protect yourself.

SUBCRIPTION FRAUD. This is a common scam that utilizes the Internet to sign you up for a bogus subscription for a monthly fee. Usually you will find these scams on social networking web sites, such as Facebook or MySpace. Often they appear as a Quiz or Survey that you fill out. At the end you'll be asked to enter your cell phone number to receive your score. What you may not realize is that by entering your number you're subscribing to a service that will be charging you for Fun Facts, or something just as silly, to be delivered to your phone for $9.99 - or some other fee - each month!

SOLUTION: NEVER ENTER YOUR CELL PHONE NUMBER ASSOCIATED WITH ANY QUIZ, TEST, OR GAME.

RINGTONE SCAMS. Next time you're offered a free ringtone, you may want to think twice. This is one way thieves hack your cell phone and steal confidential information. Never download a ringtone unless it is from a trusted source.

Never respond to text messages that offer you a free ringtone by returning a text or calling a 1-800-Number. This is often a trick to sign you up for unwanted service charges.

SOLUTION: ONLY BUY TONES FROM REPUTABLE SOURCES.

LOST OR STOLEN PHONES. Guard your cell phone like your wallet, purse, or car keys! If your phone is stolen it could be used to rack up some expensive international calls.

SOLUTION: USE PASSWORD PROTECTION ON YOUR PHONE.

TEXT VOTING. There are many opportunities for you to vote for almost anything from your phone, however, sometimes that vote will come with a fee ... even if text messaging is included in your plan.

SOLUTION: NEVER USE TEXT VOTING UNLESS YOU KNOW IT'S REALLY FREE

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New cell phone scams are now making the rounds...

Next time you use your credit card in a convenience store or restaurant, be aware that scammers can now use camera-equipped cell phones to snap pics of your card number and name.

Cell phone scams are multipying -- fast...

Frightening fact: It takes the scammer less than a minute to take the picture and transmit the account name and numbers -- locally or even overseas!

Some cell phones are even capable of shooting short video 'clips,' so scammers are using these near ATMs to capture not just the image of your card, but your PIN # as you enter it as well.

Whereas some claim that the resolution is not yet good enough to make this work, it's just a matter of time for these cell phone scams to really take off.

To protect yourself from these cell phone scams happening to you, don't let your credit or ATM card out of your sight. And when you're punching in your PIN # at the ATM, cover the hand you're using to type with your other hand.

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ATTORNEY GENERAL I.D. THEFT INFORMATION

  

http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/IdentityTheftIdentity

With more information available online, criminals have greater opportunities to steal personal information. Consumers must protect themselves.

Identity theft occurs when a criminal obtains and uses someone else's personal information -- credit card numbers, bank account numbers, insurance information or Social Security number -- to purchase goods or services fraudulently.

Identity theft is a state and federal crime.

Those who think they are a victim of identity theft should immediately contact their local police department or sheriff's office and file a police report.

After filing a report, ask to be enrolled in the Identity Theft Verification Passport Program. The Passport Program was created by the Ohio Attorney General's Office to provide victims of identity theft with a way to verify to law enforcement and creditors that their identities have been stolen. It helps victims identify and correct fraudulent charges and repair any damages to their credit history.

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