GLEN ROCK, NJ - After detecting a problem with her cell phone while trying to text, a Glen Rock woman learned she had been a victim of 'porting', a process in which someone not only steals your cell phone number, but may steal your identity, as well.
On Dec. 16, the woman reported the issue to Glen Rock police after Verizon learned her phone number had been ported to another carrier. Verizon is in the process of attempting to regain the phone number and warned the woman about the possibility of identity theft, police said.
What is porting?
Porting is a semi-permanent means of moving a telephone number from one provider to another and usually involves closing the old account, according to major providers of cell phone service.
Glen Rock Police Chief Ackerman said the major mobile phone carriers are warning their customers that thieves are trying to “port” mobile telephone numbers to another carrier, which allows them to steal your identity, messages and call information.
"The major carriers admit that this has been an issue in the industry for several years," Ackermann said in a press release. "However, it seems to be happening more and more."
"Most of the time, people who fall victim to this don’t even realize that this has happened to them until they notice that they no longer have service," the police chief said. "By that time, the crook has had enough time to not only change all of your passwords on other accounts, they also have had time to steal your money and gain access to other pieces of information, such as your Social Security number or any account number associated with any account your phone may be connected to."
Each of the mobile phone carriers have safeguards which customers can use to protect themselves. Subscribers are encouraged to contact their carrier to learn more about these safeguards.