Virgin Islands residents targeted by phone hackers
Protect your identity and finances by being aware of this latest scam perpetrated by hackers intent on gaining access to your information. The VI Consortium reports that the USVI Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs has issued a warning to the public regarding fake calls with immediate hangup from foreign area codes as 371, 375, and 381.
The phone number displayed will be longer than the 10 digits of a domestic call made from within the western hemisphere, and if the call is answered it gives hackers enough time to gain access to the information stored on the phone, including contacts, banking information or credit card numbers.
If missed, returning the call leads to charges of $15 to $30 but that’s only the beginning. Sometimes the fake caller will answer and then keep the victim on the phone long enough to hack the devices and extract data. The loss is extended if the recipient of such a call later also receives calls from people purporting to be cable, telephone or other service providers and swindled out of money.
The Department of Licensing and Consumer affairs urges VI residents to disregard phone calls coming from unfamiliar places, disguised numbers, or from sources with which no previous business has been conducted. Even if a message has been left, do not return the call via the number displayed – it is better to make direct contact with the local company or individual from the number in local telephone directories or documents.