Hang Up on Identity Thieves

Identity thieves and cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to take advantage of small businesses, and the latest scheme involves your business’s mobile phone account.

When hackers take control of your mobile account, there are several harmful things they can do. For example, they can buy new equipment such as smartphones and tablets and have them billed to your account. Once they get that equipment, they turn around and sell it.

Or hackers can add additional lines and use them to rack up large bills. They might purchase Wi-Fi hotspots and sap your data package by using the hotspots for free internet. With access to your account, they also can steal your banking and credit card information.

How Do Thieves Get Access to Your Business Mobile Account?

Most accounts are hijacked because people have fallen for a phone scam where someone calls and impersonates a representative from the mobile company. The scammer pretends that the victim’s account has been hacked and tricks the user into giving out important information. Email phishing scams are also a popular way for hackers to get account information.

Unfortunately, it’s getting even easier for the bad guys to carry out these schemes. There are websites that will identify which mobile carrier your phone number is associated with, at no charge. Some websites will list the name, city and state of the person who uses a particular phone number.

Hackers can also turn to social media to look for information that can help them figure out security questions that will give them access to your business’s mobile account.

What You Can Do to Protect Your Business

  1. Create a secure PIN or password for your account. Nobody will be able to make changes to your account unless they can provide that piece of information. Contact your mobile carrier to find out what method your business should use.
  2. Train staff on how to deal with scam calls. With all the cybercrime going around, your business needs to have procedures in place
    for maintaining information security.
  3. Beware of emails and calls from your mobile company. Your mobile provider will never call or email you about your account. If someone calls your office asking for details about your mobile account, hang up.
  4. Consider having your mobile phone statements physically mailed to your office. Electronic statements are handy, but they can put your business’s mobile account at risk. If someone hacks into your email, they can get access to your monthly statements. Considering that your statements list all the phone numbers on your account and your account number, it’s the last thing you want hackers to possess.
  5. Don’t use your mobile number as your main business number. Many solo entrepreneurs are tempted to do this. Yes, it’s one less bill, but it also puts you at greater risk as your number will now be widely available online. Consider alternatives such as VoIP or Google Voice. Both options allow you to make business calls from your mobile device without sharing your mobile number.

If your company’s mobile phone account is hijacked, you’ll waste hours and hours straightening everything out. Following the steps above should help your business stay safe from this latest cyberthreat.