Did you know that hackers have developed a way to gain access to your online accounts through your mobile services’ voicemail? Even if it has been ages since you listened to a voicemail message, you are still at risk! If you suspect that this has happened to you, go to Social Catfish for an immediate phone number search. Otherwise, follow along as we teach you how and why hackers are hijacking your voicemail.
How Does Voicemail Hacking Work?
Perhaps this describes you: You handle your online privacy correctly. You use complex passwords, 2 step authentication, and have a secure home network. Unfortunately, while most people put time and care into selecting strong email account passwords, less care is given when picking a PIN number. You might think that PIN numbers only apply to your ATM bank card, which is safely in your wallet, but scammers can now hack into your accounts through your voicemail PIN!
It’s Easy: Hackers choose voice accounts as they’re easy. First, PIN numbers are usually shorter on voicemail systems, sometimes only 4 numbers long. People frequently choose their birth year, a list of consecutive numbers, or repetitive numbers, e.x., 1987, 1234, 4567, 0000, 9999, which makes for an easy hack. There is, according to 2012 research by Data Genetics, a 22% chance that a PIN number will be guessed just by entering in any of the 20 most common PIN’s. If your email or bank accounts had a 22% chance of being hacked just by entering in 20 options, they would not be very secure.
Default PIN Numbers: If you don’t use your voicemail at all, the hacker will find it even easier to hack into! When a voicemail hasn’t been set up yet, a default password is used by the company. According to research done by Martin Viggo’s the main cell phone carriers use these (default) codes: At&T: 111111. T-Mobile & Verizon: Phone number last 4 digits. Sprint: Phone number last 7 digits.
Multiple Attempts: If you think that you’d notice a strange or spoofed phone number calling you over and over, attempting to hack into your account, think again. Mobile or corporate voicemail systems typically allow hackers to try multiple PIN numbers at a time, until they find the correct one. It is also possible to hack in without calling the phone owner directly, by just going through the carrier’s system. These direct voicemail access phone numbers are listed online as: AT&T: 408-307-5049. T-Mobile: 805-637-7243. Sprint: 513-225-6245. Verizon: 301-802-6245.
Apps: For a low cost (less that $50 through various voicemail hacks), hackers can use software and apps to give them around a 50% success rate of hacking into your voice accounts. Multiple PIN’s will be entered at once, per call, to avoid alerting the phone owner of the hack.
What Information Can They Obtain
Have you ever lost your password for an account, such as Gmail? If so, you were likely able to receive a text or voice call with a Google generated code to reset your password. Imagine that this code was left on your voicemail. Through your hacked voicemail, a hacker could reset your email password and through that email account access your social security information, bank and financial accounts, PayPal, credit cards, and more! Before long you could be looking at complete identity theft!
How To Protect Yourself
- Go to Social Catfish and search your phone number to see where it appears online, in connection with your name or accounts, and remove it.
- Make sure PIN numbers are random and complicated. Do not give your phone number out online, unless a site is very secure and providing it is absolutely necessary.
- Try to use an alternate or virtual phone number, to avoid linking directly to your carrier’s voicemail access.
While the risk can’t be completely eliminated, following these steps will keep you safer! Know someone who might be at risk? Share this article with them or on your social media accounts!