A very real problem that started as soon as cell phones became popular was fraud. Criminals discovered dozens of ways to defraud people through cell phones. Although things are slightly better today, you still have to be careful. Here are some ways to avoid fraudulent charges on your wireless account.
Review Your Bill Regularly
You need to review your wireless bill regularly and look for charges that stand out as suspicious. A popular type of fraud is known as cramming where carriers or third-party companies put charges on your bill that you did not authorize. There could be15 to 20 million cramming victims every year despite new legislation. Check your bill often and dispute every charge that you do not recognize.
Choose the Right Phone and Carrier
You want to choose the right phone and carrier to prevent fraudulent charges. You need a carrier that actively fights against fraud and offers you protections. You also want a modern phone that has anti-fraud features built into it so that you can avoid things like cloning. Stay away from carriers and phones that seem to have no fraud prevention systems in place.
Use Strong Privacy Settings Whenever Possible
If you are signing up for things, making purchases or using social media through your phone, then use strong privacy settings whenever they are available. You want to limit or totally restrict your information from being stored on your phone, sent to third-party companies or becoming available to marketers. This is not always possible although you should try.
Do Not Lend Your Phone Out or Leave It Unattended
Never leave your phone unattended in public or lend it out to someone you do not trust completely. Someone could grab your phone, install malicious apps and then make fraudulent charges later. A criminal could clone your phone and use your account later. Lock your phone with a password screen to maximum safety.
Never Reply To Unsolicited Text, Email Messages or Collect Calls
Do not ever reply to unsolicited text messages, emails or collect calls. All of those are methods that can be used to put fraudulent charges on your wireless account. By replying to a text message, you might unintentionally be authorizing recurring monthly charges for a service you do not need. Criminals also regularly attempt to defraud you through fake collect calls. Avoid these scams.
Guard Your Passwords and Personal Information
Guard all of your passwords and personal information intensely. Never give out sensitive information, codes or passwords. This will prevent something called subscriber fraud where criminals use your information to sign up for a wireless account in your name. Subscriber fraud costs carriers over $150 annually. If your personal information is secret and protected, then you will not have to worry about subscriber fraud.