When making purchases with your phone or online, you still need to be careful about what sites purchases are made lest hackers and scammers get into your account.

They call it 'two-factor authentication' and this is what crooks are using in order to take control of accounts that people had no idea could happen, nor did they intend for it to happen.

There are many scams that are happening in the wireless arena in general, however, this is another way the scammers are stealing information and in some cases, money.

How Are They Doing It?

The New York Times recently reported how these scammers are calling major wireless carriers and asking them to port peoples phone numbers to a wireless device that they control.

Once the port is in place, the criminals can then access your financial accounts by using the two-factor authentication by text message. This method is one of the most popular ones they use to gain information and money.

Once the text message is received, again using the two-factor authentication method, they then can change your passwords on any account you have to that number.

At this point, they can drain any financial account you have that was connected to that number.

If you're curious about how big of a problem this is, then look no farther than the Federal Trade Commission.

They reported that there were about 1,038 incidents in 2013 which increased to 2,658 in 2016.

Much of this is dealing with crypto-currency, which some experts say is risky business, to begin with.

What You Can Do About It

Clark Howard has some great advice for trying to deal with these guys and protect your property, identity, and money.

  • He advises that if you are into cryptocurrency, not to announce it on social media. Scammers and thieves do monitor social media for their potential next victim. One can easily put themselves on the scammers' radar by announcing their Bitcoin cash in.
  • Also, think about disconnecting your phone from any cryptocurrency accounts you or someone you know might have.

The thieves are out there, so protect yourself, your property, identity and your money.