Authorities in Penticton have issued a warning to the public regarding a new phone scam taking place across the South Okanagan. (File)

Penticton RCMP warn of new ‘port-out’ scam that targets online banking

Two-factor verification has been the go-to way to keep online accounts secure

Mounties have issued a warning to the public about a new phone scam making its way across the South Okanagan.

In a news release Tuesday, RCMP in Penticton explained that this cellphone ‘port-out’ scam was recently seen by their officers and is becoming an increasingly popular method for scammers to steal from unsuspecting citizens.

“The scam involves a scammer finding one’s name and phone number and then attempting to gather as much information about you,” Const. James Grandy said.

RCMP explained that the scammers then use this information to contact your mobile provider and request your number be ported to a new phone.

READ MORE: RCMP warn of tax phone scam reported in Okanagan

Once they have your number ported to a new device, the scammers are able to gain access to internet accounts, which require sending a verification code to your phone. This mobile verification code has become a popular way for businesses to keep accounts secure – also called two-factor verification – and is used by online banking and social media apps.

Authorities gave several tips to protect yourself against this scam.

First of all, ask your phone provider to set up a unique pin to prevent porting without your authorization. Secondly, watch for your cell phone disconnecting from cell service. Third, be wary of texts and emails you receive that request personal information from you.

“If you become a victim of this kind of scam, please report it to your local RCMP Detachment,” Grandy said.

The Western News previously reported in October that a warning was issued to the public of scammers pretending to be the Canada Revenue Agency, with their phone ID’s disguised as West Kelowna RCMP.


@philmclachlan
phil.mclachlan@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province offers expertise to help Esquimalt clean up Gorge oil spill

A leaky home heating tank shed oil into ground and storm water systems

B.C. men’s life expectancy down for a third straight year

Opioid crisis held responsible for declining life expectancy

Victoria councillors advocate once again for free youth transit passes regionally

The idea was originally rejected by the Victoria Regional Transit Commission in August 2019

Langford ranks as fastest growing community in B.C.

Westshore community grew by 5.2 per cent in 2019 compared to 2018

The Goldstream News Gazette office is on the move

We’re returning to our roots, just a few blocks away on Goldstream Avenue

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Greater Victoria’s wanted list for the week of Jan. 28

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Watch out for scams, clickbait in the wake of Kobe Bryant’s death: Better Business Bureau

Kobe Bryant and his daughter were killed in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles

‘Very disrespectful’: Headstones at Okanagan cemetery damaged by excavation crew

Headstones at Enderby’s Cliffside Cemetery mistakenly driven over by excavation crew

Despite reports of decline, birds flocking to national parks in Canadian Rockies

Recent studies suggest overall bird population has slid by three billion since 1970

Former UN committee member defends stance on B.C.’s Coastal GasLink pipeline

First Nations LNG Alliance accused UN committee, human rights watchdog of not doing their research

Earthquake on top of highway closure a wake up call for Island’s West Coast

“When someone says, ‘Be prepared for 72 hours,’ that means exactly that: be prepared.”

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Most Read