West Kelowna  

Identity theft victim warns others about cell phone porting fraud

Identity theft warning

A West Kelowna woman wants other potential fraud victims to be aware of a cell phone scam making the rounds.

Christine Stephens tells Castanet she went to bed late Wednesday morning and woke up to find that her cell phone no longer worked. When she tried to find out why, she realized that her number was no longer hers.

"I didn't even have an account in the morning."

"I had to use my son's cell phone to call my provider to find out that I had been removed from my provider and that my cell number had been ported out to a completely different mobile provider," Stephens said.

Stephens says after spending almost an hour on the phone with her service provider, it was eventually determined that it was fraud.

"This is scary," Stephens said, adding she's shy and not seeking attention, but she wants other people to be aware that this can happen.

Stephens got her number back along with assurances from her provider that it wouldn't happen again.

"I asked if it was safe to use it, they said yes and there was a block put on it along with a two-step authentication process."

This isn't the first time this has happened in BC, with a West Vancouver Police Constable falling victim recently, reports CTV News.

Castanet has reached out to the cell phone service provider and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association for more details on what they are doing to prevent this type of fraud in the future.

Stephens says she has been told that the cell service provider will follow up with her, "the investigation team will follow up with me within 24 to 48 hours. I still don't know the extent of what has already happened."

Out of an abundance of caution Stephens says she has contacted her bank, Equifax and PayPal in an effort to ensure that no one has access to any of her accounts going forward.

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