In a scenario that’s growing increasingly common, the chief technologist of the US Federal Trade Commission recently lost control of her smartphone after someone posing as her walked into a mobile phone store and hijacked her number.
Details of the incident were provided by the FTC’s Lorrie Cranor in a blog post published Tuesday morning with the headline “Your mobile phone account could be hijacked by an identity thief.” In it, Cranor wrote:
A few weeks ago an unknown person walked into a mobile phone store, claimed to be me, asked to upgrade my mobile phones, and walked out with two brand new iPhones assigned to my telephone numbers. My phones immediately stopped receiving calls, and I was left with a large bill and the anxiety and fear of financial injury that spring from identity theft. This post describes my experiences as a victim of ID theft, explains the growing problem of phone account hijacking, and suggests ways consumers and mobile phone carriers can help combat these scams.
My Experiences as a Victim of ID Theft
One evening my mobile phone stopped working mid call. After discovering that another phone on my account also had no signal, I called my…