Skip to main content
Accessibility Resource Center Skip to main content
Have a phone you love? Get up to $500 when you bring your phone.
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Verizon gave away my phone number to a scammer. They used it to steal money from our bank.
mpetro
Member

About a month ago, my phone stopped working. Phone calls wouldn't go through and texting and data wasn't working. I was only able to use the phone to call Verizon. 

When I called, I spoke with a first-line customer support person. The first thing that they told me was that the phone I was calling from was not the phone on the account. They said that I had just bought a new phone and  that my number was associated with that new phone. Well, I didn't buy a new phone. The person struggled to figure out what was wrong. I was on the phone with them for about an hour before I asked to be transferred to a higher-level support. 

The person I was transferred to figured out the problem quickly. Someone had a purchased a new phone in California (I live in Massachusetts) and my phone number had been ported to that device. It took nearly another hour before service was returned to my device. I was still on the phone with the support representative when service was returned. Immediately, I saw an email from my bank confirming my appointment for the next day. In California. Suspecting something bad, I quickly finished my call with Verizon and called my bank.

Sure enough, money had been stolen from our accounts. During the 2-hour period that someone had my number, they used the 2-factor authentication (that's when the bank sends you a text with a code to prove that you are who you say you are) to steal more than $15,000 from our accounts.

The bank will likely cover the loss, but the many hours that I have spent contacting Verizon, the bank, law enforcement in two cities and the various credit services is lost for ever. 

I called Verizon back a day or two later to express my displeasure with what they allowed to happen. I was told that all that someone would need to do to get a phone on my account was to show a photo ID and give them my social security number. What a joke. A photo ID can easily be created with very public information (address) and so many social security numbers have been compromised, that millions of those are now in the public. So, with public information, Verizon gave away my number, compromising our finances. It gets worse.

I was angry, but not nearly as livid as I became when the customer support supervisor told me that this was not Verizon's fault. She told me that I was just "looking for someone to blame because my identity was stolen." I tried to explain that it was Verizon that gave it away. She kept repeating the same line, "not Verizon's fault." I went nuts. I asked to be transferred to another representative but she told me that there was no one else that I could to talk to. I asked who I would talk to about disconnecting my service. "Well, that would be me." 

Well, here I am a month later and I'm still waiting for an apology from Verizon and some recognition that they messed up up. The new iPhone is out now and it is as good a time as any to change service.  

0 Likes
Re: Verizon gave away my phone number to a scammer. They used it to steal money from our bank.
vzw_customer_support
Customer Support

Hello mpetro and thank you for providing us with your feedback about your recent experience with us. Verizon Wireless does commit to delivering the best products and services with customer service being the priority. Operating with integrity is at the core of who we are as a company and it does concern us to hear you feel this way as we would never want to lose you. We want to make sure we are unified in our responses so that you're comfortable in accepting answers from us regardless of how you reach out for assistance. Having your identity stolen is a frustrating process and we understand being concerned about this was able to take place. The documents needed to establish service are the criteria that we use for all customers at this time. We understand there can always be improvements and we appreciate all feedback received surrounding this matter. We hope we can restore your confidence in Verizon Wireless and prove we are worthy of your continued business.

0 Likes
Re: Verizon gave away my phone number to a scammer. They used it to steal money from our bank.
mpetro
Member

Well, you need to change your criteria. Cellphones are used all the time for 2-factor authentication.  You should know this. You owe it to your customers to protect their security. Allowing someone to use publicly available information to steal a cellphone number is negligent. You have much more data in your customer’s files that could be used for confirmation. Heck, even a simple phone call or text could have alerted the salesperson that something might be amiss. Your continued denial of responsibility is frustrating to say the least. 

0 Likes
Re: Verizon gave away my phone number to a scammer. They used it to steal money from our bank.
vzw_customer_support
Customer Support

mpetro, this is certainly not a good experience to read about. We hope to regain your complete confidence in our support. Keeping accounts safe is a priority. Here is a web page https://www.verizon.com/support/keeping-your-account-safe-faqs/ with the details about everything that Verizon is doing. We hope this information helps. 

0 Likes