Someone is using my cellphone number

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student
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Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by student » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:21 pm

This morning I received a text message from Best Buy regarding an online order. Then I received a text message regarding the order being cancelled. I do have a Best Buy account but it is not linked with my cell phone number. After talking to a customer service representative, I think someone entered my cell phone number as the contact info either by mistake or on purpose. The customer service representative refused to disassociate my cell phone number from that account because I am not the owner of that account even though the system recognized that I was calling from my cell phone with the phone number in question. She said she would pass along the info to the appropriate department to start an investigation. She took my email address but said that they would not email me when the investigation is complete. She did gave me a case number and said I could call back and ask.

I have this phone number for over a decade.

I hope this is not fraud. What can I do to protect myself? Any suggestions that you think maybe helpful?

Loik098
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by Loik098 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:38 pm

student wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:21 pm

I hope this is not fraud. What can I do to protect myself? Any suggestions that you think maybe helpful?
What sort of fraud are you worried about, or what would you need protection from? Aside from attempting a takeover of your mobile account, what more could they do with your phone number?

I would think that the chances that someone not only used your number for their Best Buy transaction but also has plans to somehow steal your identity would be rare....why would they start with Best Buy?

Ensure your mobile account is locked down and block notifications from this number.

runner3081
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by runner3081 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:46 pm

student wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:21 pm
I hope this is not fraud. What can I do to protect myself? Any suggestions that you think maybe helpful?
Relax. It is not worth the extra worry you are giving yourself.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:31 am

Putting in a phone number is not taking over a mobile account.

Simply block the BestBuy alert number.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:46 am

As I see it, you're now notified when someone who mis-typed in their phone number buys something at Best Buy. As mentioned, block the number and move on.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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lthenderson
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by lthenderson » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:50 am

I've made up a phone number when filling out forms where the phone number is mandatory many many times over the years and where I don't wish to ever receive a call. Dumb luck that I got yours. I apologize. :sharebeer

Rupert
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by Rupert » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:54 am

Sometimes stores ask for a phone number or email address at the cash register. They do this allegedly to make it easier for you to return items without a receipt. I always refuse to give them any information. Other people likely just make up a number. Someone may have made up your number, and your number got linked to that person's account. I wouldn't worry about it if this is the only example of someone using your number. If you start getting similar notices from other retailers or from any financial institutions, then there may be a problem.

stan1
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by stan1 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:59 am

Block the number and move on. You've already given them a lot of additional personal information (which I would not have wanted to do). It's just Best Buy. If it was Vanguard, my bank, or my health insurer I'd have a different response here (and I'd expect they would too after your call).

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gtownsend
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by gtownsend » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:47 pm

You could point out to Best Buy that
1. You are not a customer of theirs.
2. You do not want any phone calls from them.
3. Further calls are illegal and may subject them to damages.
This is not your usual junk caller that can hide behind spoofed numbers in foreign locations.
I've had this approach work to stop unwanted e-mail from reputable companies who had the wrong address.

student
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by student » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:46 am

Thank you very much for your comments.

Ninnie
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by Ninnie » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:54 am

There is a scam where hackers will steal your cell phone number. That way they can use it to unlock your email and other accounts if you use two-step verification.

In your case, how did you call Best Buy? Hopefully you looked up their number and didn't call the number in the text. That's the only potential for scam I see here. Otherwise someone else probably mis-entered the cell number when they placed their order. The best strategy would have been to ignore the messages and not call back and give out your email.

Some cell phone providers now allow you to lock your account with a pin. AT&T lets you do this online. That helps prevent someone from calling the company and stealing (porting) the number by pretending to be you.

student
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by student » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:32 am

Ninnie wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:54 am
There is a scam where hackers will steal your cell phone number. That way they can use it to unlock your email and other accounts if you use two-step verification.

In your case, how did you call Best Buy? Hopefully you looked up their number and didn't call the number in the text. That's the only potential for scam I see here. Otherwise someone else probably mis-entered the cell number when they placed their order. The best strategy would have been to ignore the messages and not call back and give out your email.

Some cell phone providers now allow you to lock your account with a pin. AT&T lets you do this online. That helps prevent someone from calling the company and stealing (porting) the number by pretending to be you.
Thanks for the comments. I have locked my account with a pin (T-Mobile). I did call Best Buy using the number on its website. Best Buy told me that the cell phone number is associated with someone rewards account.

mmmodem
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by mmmodem » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:34 am

It's likely someone gave the wrong cell phone number when they ordered at best buy. I wouldn't be too worried about. If you don't shop best buy, feel free to block the number.

I also wouldn't be upset at best buy for not being able to remove your phone number. Would you want to be customer to a business that not only allows their employees to access private information in your account without verification but to also change things without your knowledge based on a stranger's phone call?

student
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by student » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:46 am

mmmodem wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:34 am
It's likely someone gave the wrong cell phone number when they ordered at best buy. I wouldn't be too worried about. If you don't shop best buy, feel free to block the number.

I also wouldn't be upset at best buy for not being able to remove your phone number. Would you want to be customer to a business that not only allows their employees to access private information in your account without verification but to also change things without your knowledge based on a stranger's phone call?
Thank you for the comment. I guess I am not really upset about they are not able to disassociate the cell phone number in the other account. I am disappointed that they do not send a text message to verify the number before associating the cell phone number to the other account. I guess I do not know why I am not treating it as someone calling my cell phone and looking for someone else. Now that I have seen all the comments. It seems silly for me to treat it differently. :|

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heartwood
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by heartwood » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:08 am

student wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:46 am
mmmodem wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:34 am
It's likely someone gave the wrong cell phone number when they ordered at best buy. I wouldn't be too worried about. If you don't shop best buy, feel free to block the number.

I also wouldn't be upset at best buy for not being able to remove your phone number. Would you want to be customer to a business that not only allows their employees to access private information in your account without verification but to also change things without your knowledge based on a stranger's phone call?
Thank you for the comment. I guess I am not really upset about they are not able to disassociate the cell phone number in the other account. I am disappointed that they do not send a text message to verify the number before associating the cell phone number to the other account. I guess I do not know why I am not treating it as someone calling my cell phone and looking for someone else. Now that I have seen all the comments. It seems silly for me to treat it differently. :|
Briefly so as not to derail the OP, changing phone numbers associated with an account seems to be something some software platform developers never considered or will not allow. I had the opposite problem from the OP. I needed to change the identifying phone number on two store accounts after they consolidated several different store names under new software, going from a regional store name basis to a national basis with all there regional stores in the same URL. After using the same number at different stores for 40 years two of three stopped accepting my number because it was "associated with another account." I was unable to resolve it online. Customer Service was unable to do so either on the phone. I was instructed to open new accounts with new phone numbers (and original address, etc) and just ignore the old one. Before I had one number I used at three stores. Now I must recall which number to use at each. Doh!

michaeljc70
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:51 am

I guess I am not sure what fraud you are worried about. Someone using your bank or credit cards is something to worry about. Someone having your phone number is not. It could have been a typo. Just check all your financial accounts for unauthorized activity. It is best if you set up text alerts (I get alerts on any purchase over $20).

tibbitts
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by tibbitts » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:52 am

student wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:46 am
mmmodem wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:34 am
It's likely someone gave the wrong cell phone number when they ordered at best buy. I wouldn't be too worried about. If you don't shop best buy, feel free to block the number.

I also wouldn't be upset at best buy for not being able to remove your phone number. Would you want to be customer to a business that not only allows their employees to access private information in your account without verification but to also change things without your knowledge based on a stranger's phone call?
Thank you for the comment. I guess I am not really upset about they are not able to disassociate the cell phone number in the other account. I am disappointed that they do not send a text message to verify the number before associating the cell phone number to the other account. I guess I do not know why I am not treating it as someone calling my cell phone and looking for someone else. Now that I have seen all the comments. It seems silly for me to treat it differently. :|
If you paid for every text message you wouldn't want them to send you a text massage to verify every time you gave out a phone number. Of course you would have first given them your free-to-text Google Voice number, but the service would have rejected that number because although the number can receive a text, it's a Google Voice number. I'm not sure how they reject it, and particularly I'm not sure what they have against Google Voice, but that's very common.

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grabiner
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by grabiner » Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:55 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:50 am
I've made up a phone number when filling out forms where the phone number is mandatory many many times over the years and where I don't wish to ever receive a call. Dumb luck that I got yours. I apologize. :sharebeer
When I need to do this, I give (410)555-1212. This is not anyone's home number, but it can be used to reach me, and the only information it gives about me is that I live in the 410 area code (Baltimore area).
Wiki David Grabiner

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dm200
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by dm200 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:59 pm

"Dial a Prayer" is sometimes a good number to supply.

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heartwood
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by heartwood » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:08 pm

Many stories about people using (XXX)-234-5789, better known as Beachwood 4-5789 by the Marvelettes.

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GerryL
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by GerryL » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:29 pm

Years ago, before cell phones were as common as they are now, I frequently got calls on my landline for someone named Gerardo. Usually I ignored them, but after a while would sometimes pick up the call (as I was screening it and heard the name "Gerardo") to explain they had the wrong number and should stop calling. I said either you have a typo in your system or this Gerardo guy was trying to mislead you. But the calls kept coming. It eventually occurred to me that these relentless calls were from a debt collection business after one person I spoke with angrily challenged me when I explained there was not and never had been anyone at this number named Gerardo. And my exchange was a good 20 miles from the address they had on record.

OP: If you start getting bothered by other businesses calling your cell phone, it may be an indicator that someone is trying to deflect businesses who are trying to get payment. But a single Best Buy incident is probably just a typo.

AlphaLess
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Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Post by AlphaLess » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:32 pm

Loik098 wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:38 pm
student wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:21 pm

I hope this is not fraud. What can I do to protect myself? Any suggestions that you think maybe helpful?
What sort of fraud are you worried about, or what would you need protection from? Aside from attempting a takeover of your mobile account, what more could they do with your phone number?

I would think that the chances that someone not only used your number for their Best Buy transaction but also has plans to somehow steal your identity would be rare....why would they start with Best Buy?

Ensure your mobile account is locked down and block notifications from this number.
+1 here

I can just go to Best Buy, please an order, give them my cell phone number, and make a 1 digit mistake in that number.

Then you start getting messages about my orders.

If anything, you can use your cell phone to mess with their orders.

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