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 ‘porting’ scam that puts internet banking, online accounts at risk

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

Stay away from landfills, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen urges

Residents urged to use curbside collection services, stockpile recyclables during COVID-19 pandemic

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

WATCH: Penticton boy celebrates birthday, from a distance

Lucas Lemke celebrated his 11th birthday while practising social distancing

At-home learning for SD67 students to begin April 6

In-classroom learning remains suspended due to COVID-19

Second Vernon-area high school exposed to COVID-19

Kalamalka Secondary School staff, students urged to self-isolate if showing symptoms

Okanagan distillery hands out thousands of sanitizer bottles, needs help in COVID-19 fight

Okanagan Springs is donating hand sanitizer to help fill COVID-induced shortages

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Most Read