Media reports on mobile phone account hijacking provide more evidence of this problem.
A 2013 Forbes article reported that the government had seized over 5,500 phones from a Michigan operation that allegedly acquired them fraudulently from AT&T, Verizon, Best Buy, Radio Shack, and Apple stores and was shipping them overseas.
So, following the template provided by Identitytheft.gov, I wrote a letter to my carrier requesting all records related to the fraudulent upgrades on my account.
After about two months my carrier sent me the records.
She assumed it was a mistake, and told me to take my phones to one of my mobile carrier’s retail stores.
The store replaced my SIM cards and got my phones working again.
A store employee explained that a thief claiming to be me had gone into a phone store and “upgraded” my two phones to the most expensive i Phone models available and transferred my phone numbers to the new i Phones.
Such thefts involved all four of the major mobile carriers.A few days later I received an email about mobile phone insurance that the thief had apparently added to my account.After three trips to my carrier’s retail stores and many hours on the phone, my carrier eventually fixed all the problems and refunded the fraudulent charges.I learned that the thief had used a fake ID with my name and her photo.She had acquired the i Phones at a retail store in Ohio, hundreds of miles from where I live, and charged them to my account on an installment plan.