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Mobile Device Scams and Frauds - March 2019

By:  Rob Baquera, Roseville Police Department, Public Information Officer


If you have an IPhone or an Android or use Verizon, ATT, or T-Mobile, you should be aware of the newest scams and fraudulent activities involving mobile devices.  Scammers and fraudsters create new and more realistic ways of tricking us into giving up personal information or stealing money. The website, www.usa.gov/scams-and-frauds, published a detailed article, on January 30, 2019, on some of the common scams and frauds. The FBI also has a site dedicated to providing information on 23 different types of schemes, fraudulent activity, or scams: www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes.


Similar to the steps taken to protect one’s identity, there are other technological measures you can take to protect your personal data, money, and electronic or mobile devices.


Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to steal sensitive information. Phishing emails, surveys, and fake advertisements are a common practice scammers use because many people today have mobile devices.


Many of us use our mobile device to make online purchases, communicate with others, maintain activity calendar, and create a record of sorts. Some of the new phishing schemes may look like they come from a trusted source and include requests for information like experience surveys, feedback requests, or previously purchased item recommendations. Here are a few ways to protect your mobile device:


  • Let calls from unrecognized numbers go to voicemail, and then listen to the voicemail.
  • Do not call back any recorded messages, especially those offering free trials or call back requests regarding a prize you have won.
  • Avoid accepting insurance calls from scammers claiming to be with your mobile service carrier, or the company where you purchased your phone. These scammers will try to offer to sell you insurance, and you may never actually get the phone insurance. Always contact the trusted company directly to confirm the offer is valid.
  • Do not call back unrecognized numbers, especially if it rings only once. You run the risk of being charged connection fees if the call came from outside the USA. Some area codes that have been used in such scams are: 265, 809, 876, 284, and 473.
  • Use authorized mobile applications (apps) - download apps from an app store, rather than a website, and access your personal or banking information only from your bank’s official app or website.
  • Be familiar with your phone’s security settings – knowing what your phone is capable of doing, and what security capabilities your phone already has in place can help secure your data and mobile device from intrusion.
  • Contact Roseville Police Department to file a police report online or by calling the non-emergency number: 916-774-5000.


Technology has made life more convenient in many ways but also requires diligence in protecting our personal information. Take some proactive steps today to protect your personal information and mobile device(s).

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