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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.Identity theft reports to the FTC likely represent only the tip of a much larger iceberg.According to data from the Identity Theft Supplement to the 2014 National Crime Victimization Survey conducted by the U. Department of Justice, less than 1% of identity theft victims reported the theft to the FTC.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 i Phones 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.By January 2016, that number had increased to 2,658 such incidents, representing 6.3% of all identity thefts reported to the FTC that month.
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.
The Growing Problem of Phone Account Hijacking Records of identity thefts reported to the FTC provide some insight into how often thieves hijack a mobile phone account or open a new mobile phone account in a victim’s name.
In January 2013, there were 1,038 incidents of these types of identity theft reported, representing 3.2% of all identity theft incidents reported to the FTC that month.
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.
I called my mobile carrier’s fraud department and reported what happened.