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Fraud FAQs

General Information
  1. What is Cellular Fraud?

    Cellular fraud or cloning is defined as the unauthorized use, tampering or manipulation of a mobile phone or service. At one time, cloning of mobile phones accounted for a large portion of fraud. As a result, the Wireless Telephone Protection Act of 1998 expanded the prior law to criminalize the use, possession, manufacture or sale of cloning hardware or software.

    Visit www.verizonwireless.com/fraud to file a report if you suspect your phone has been cloned.



  2. What is cloning fraud?

    Every mobile phone has a unique telephone number (MIN) and mobile equipment identifier (MEID). A cloned phone has been illegally reprogrammed to transmit the MIN/MEID of a legitimate mobile phone to receive wireless service illegally. Both the legitimate and the cloned phones are able to be used.

    Visit www.verizonwireless.com/fraud to file a report if you suspect your phone has been cloned.



  3. How does Verizon Wireless help prevent cloning?

    We have significantly reduced cloning fraud for our customers through the deployment of our digital network and various anti-fraud technologies.

    Visit www.verizonwireless.com/fraud to file a report if you suspect your phone has been cloned.



  4. What should I do if I suspect my phone has been cloned or hacked?

    Visit www.verizonwireless.com/fraud to file a report if you suspect your phone has been cloned.



  5. My phone has been hacked or cloned and I’d like to suspend my service. How can I do that?

    First, you should visit www.verizonwireless.com/fraud to file a report if you suspect your phone has been cloned.

    If you're the Account Owner or Account Manager, you can suspend and reconnect service to any of the phones on your account by visiting the Suspend or Reconnect Your Service page in My Verizon to complete either of those actions. Learn more about suspending service.

    Learn more about account access roles.



Fraudulent Email (Phishing) and Text Messaging Scams (Smishing)
  1. What is email "phishing" or text messaging scams "smishing"?

    "Phishing" and "smishing" are designed to steal information by posing as a legitimate company. Criminals attempt to con or mislead individuals into providing personal information in many ways, including by email, text message and scam phone calls that appear to be from a legitimate business. Personal information that may be requested includes:

    • Credit card information
    • Account passwords
    • Account information
    • Other valuable information


  2. How do email and text message scams work?

    Email and text message scams usually use well-known brand names such as a bank, an insurance carrier or even Verizon Wireless. These deceptive messages are sometimes called "spoof emails" because they "spoof" or fake the appearance of a known website or company. Typically, the message requests the recipient to update or confirm personal information. Links may be provided to a website that may also display the company logo or other recognized elements of the company. If a user visits the website, malware may be downloaded to the user’s device or the criminal will capture information supplied by the user.



  3. How do I know if I received a phishing email or text message scam?

    There are several indicators of an email or text message scam, including:

    • Generic greetings. Instead of using your name, many message scams begin with a general greeting, such as: "Dear [Company Name] customer."

    • Incorrect account information. The message will attempt to scare you with a large account balance, a warning that someone has recently updated your account or a prize or special offer that must be claimed quickly.

    • A false sense of urgency. The message will attempt to compel you to act by threatening that your account is in jeopardy if you don't update your information as soon as possible, or with a short deadline to claim a prize or special offer.

    • Fake links. Links may appear valid, but typically go to fraudulent websites. Always check where a link is going before you click. On a computer you can do this by hovering your mouse over the link (without clicking it) and looking at the website address in your browser's status bar, which is usually in a bottom corner of the screen. If it appears suspicious, don't click the link. Alternatively, go directly to the company website from your browser, not through any links sent in messages.


  4. What should I do if I receive a Verizon Wireless email or text message that seems fraudulent?

    If you receive a message that appears to be from Verizon Wireless but seems suspicious:

    1. Don't respond to the email or click any links in it.
    2. To check your account information, go to the My Documents and Receipts page in My Verizon to view your legitimate billing or account notifications.
    3. Send the fraudulent message to us.

      Fraudulent email - You can copy and paste the email content into a new email or forward the message to phishing@verizonwireless.com for our internal review.

      Fraudulent text message - Forward suspicious text messages to 7726 (Verizon Corporate Security) from your device.

    4. Delete the fraudulent message.

    Thank you for your help in identifying fraudulent messages and we appreciate your patience as we look into it.



  5. What should I do if I responded to a suspicious email or text message or clicked links in it?

    If you clicked any links, your device may be at risk. You should immediately run your anti-virus / anti-malware software (e.g., Verizon Support & Protection) and then change usernames and passwords for your online accounts.

    You can also visit the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information website to find more information regarding scams.



  6. Where can I forward a suspicious text message?

    If you receive a text message that appears suspicious or you think could be spam, you can forward it to 7726 (Verizon Corporate Security) from your device and then delete it. You shouldn't open any links in the message. These messages are logged and tracked to help identify suspected spammers.



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