MONROE, CT — A local woman’s cellphone stopped allowing incoming and outgoing calls on Jan. 5. Then she lost use of some of her applications. She contacted her wireless provider and learned her phone number had been ported, allowing it to be used by another phone, police said.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, a porting-out scam is when an identity thief poses as the victim and uses personal information, such as their cellphone’s PIN number or password, to hijack the number and use it on another phone:
This typically begins a race where the scammer, by receiving the victim’s private texts and calls, tries to reset the access credentials for as many of the victim’s financial and social media accounts as possible before the victim realizes they have lost service on their device. Once the scammer has access, they attempt to drain the victim’s bank accounts.
In another variation, they attempt to sell or ransom back to the victim access to their social media accounts.
The FCC said the scammer can obtain personal information by posing as a trusted business or institution, calling the target and asking a series of personal questions, or they can use already compromised information on the dark web.
The FCC recommends having a PIN number and password to verify your identity on your account, staying vigilant in responding to any unauthorized changes to your accounts, and not responding to calls or texts asking for financial information.
If you receive a call requesting sensitive information, the FCC recommends hanging up and calling the institution with a phone number you trust.
The FCC also suggests not oversharing personal details that can be used to verify your identity and keeping it off of social media.
If your number is hijacked, the FCC recommends acting fast and filing a police complaint.
In the Monroe case, the victim was given a new phone and advised to contact the three major credit bureaus to check her credit report. Police said no other fraudulent activity could be found.
Vehicle vs. pole
A Monroe man received an infraction citing him for traveling too fast for conditions and failure to maintain the proper lane after crashing his vehicle into a utility pole near the intersection of Turkey Roost and Fan Hill roads early Friday morning.
Police said the driver had left the scene, but officers followed tire tracks to a closed garage on Turkey Roost Road. The driver admitted to hitting the pole, but told officers he did not think he had to call police, because no other driver was involved in the accident, according to the report.
Police said they should always be notified when there is a motor vehicle accident.
There was minor damage to the utility pole and the driver was not injured, police said. The incident occurred around 1:52 a.m.
Collision with evading
A woman was heading south on Route 111 in her Chevrolet Suburban, near Masuk High School, Friday morning, when a red pickup truck with a plow attachment came from the opposite direction and side-swiped her vehicle, according to police.
Police said the pickup truck driver kept going, leaving the other driver with significant damage to the side of her Suburban. She was not injured, according to the report.