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State Attorney General issues warning about phone scams

The police could be monitoring your cellphone.
The police could be monitoring your cellphone.

Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning Floridians of a phone scam, where hackers reassign the victim's phone number and personal information to a different device.

Under the scam known as a "SIM Swap," criminals first hack into someone’s email account to get personal information, including a cell phone number.

Then, the hacker contacts the phone service provider while pretending to be the victim and convinces the company to transfer the phone number and data to another cell phone.

According to Moody, most victims don’t know the issue has happened until it is too late.

“Now they have access to personal apps that may have financial information, sensitive personal information, and they can start moving and stealing money," Moody said. "This is becoming more and more common.”

Moody said the crime has increased nearly 500% in the past year, with Americans now losing nearly $70 million annually to the SIM-swap scam.

Tips for protecting yourself from becoming a victim include using multi-factor authentication for accounts, while keeping strong passwords and PIN codes on financial accounts.

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News Service of Florida