Unable to change account sign in options
Enthusiast - Level 2

Earlier this week, a hacker somehow was able to sign into my  Verizon account.  First, I received a phone call from Verizon support asking if I had ordered a iPad to be sent to a remote state, which I indicated was not the case.  The representative advised me that the order would be cancelled and I would not be charged.  No further suggestions were offered to address this.

A few minutes thereafter, I received an email from Verizon indicating that my account had been signed into by a device that was not recognized.  

At this point, I realized my account had been hacked.

At first, I tried to address this via use of the chat function on my notebook, but the representative took forever to pay any attention to my issue, and kept saying they hoped I was having a blessed day.  Well, maybe not.  I told them I would call.

Fortunately, when I called Verizon, I reached a helpful representative.  During the call, I noted that my access to the Verizon network had been disabled on my phone (I was using my wife's phone to speak with them), and received mail indicating that my secret question and PIN number had been changed.

Both the phone representative and I realized that my SIM number had been transferred to the hacker's phone.

During the course of all of this, I received an email indicating that an attempt was being made to open a charge card under my name at Wells Fargo.  Shortly thereafter, I received another email indicating that the charge card could not be opened, no doubt  reflecting the fact that my credit reports have been frozen for years.

The Verizon representative confirmed my SIM card number, and transferred control of the phone number back to me.  I subsequently changed my password, PIN number, secret question, and did the same on my wife's phone.

In the meantime, I noted that my phone Verizon app would no longer allow for biometric signin.  It would not allow me to store my user ID (i.e. phone number) or password, I had to enter them manually.  It then asked for my secret question.  It then allowed me to access my account.  Same when I tried to access my account via the internet.

I did not understand why biometrics did not work, but after innumerable wasted hours trying to clarify this with the chat and phone options, no one had an answer.

In the meantime, when I tried to access my wife's account (I am the owner of both lines), it would only allow access via a confirmatory text once I entered her ID and password.  It would not allow sign in via use of the secret question.  Again, countless time wasted using chat the phone.

So, I took the phones into my local Verizon store.  I was advised that because of the hack, access to the account would be limited in this fashion for somewhere in the vicinity of 30 days, for "my protection."

OK, good idea.

But why did it take this much effort to get this answer?

I will be interested to see if in 30 days I have restored use of biometrics on my phone, and whether my wife's account can be accessed via entry of ID/password/secret question, as works on my phone, rather than requiring additional authentication via a text.

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