Identity theft?

Can someone alter my phone account or disable my phones if he knows my email address, phone number, and carrier?

I’ve been getting to know someone online, first via email. We decided to text each other. He asked for my cell phone number, but also wanted to know my provider. Wondered if I use att, Verizon, or Sprint. I replied with my number and said republic wireless. (He has yet to respond by email or text me, but it’s been only a hour.)

It seemed odd to ask for my carrier. Is there a legitimate reason to ask for this?

I read a story about someone going into a Verizon store and posing as someone else and getting new phones with the victims number, effectively disabling the victims phone.

Do you think this is what he is trying to do? I feel safe because he can’t just walk into a store, like Verizon.
Also, the email address we’ve been chatting on is different from the one associated with my RW account. Finally, I gave him my Google voice number, which is different from number assigned to my phone’s SIM card.

Nonetheless, if this sounds like a fraudster, I don’t want to continue contacting him.

Hi @danielg,

In order to access your RW account, he would need the E-mail address associated with that account and the password you use to access the account.

When anyone contacts us without that information, we work very hard to verify they are the account owner before we take any action on the account. Sometimes, when people have forgotten their account credentials, this causes an immense amount of frustration for our members, but it is a process governed by federal regulations and in place specifically to protect from the kinds of situations that now have you worried.

There is the potential that he could “slam” your phone number - if he has just enough information about you to request that another carrier take your phone number and put it on his own account, like you described. That does open you up to the possibility then, that if you have any banking, social sites, or other online accounts set so that a code that you use to log into those accounts is sent to that phone number, he would then be able to generate and receive those codes, accessing your account.

This isn’t to say he’s necessarily trying to steal your identity, only that you are indeed correct to be very cautious. It’s possible he prefers to text from his computer, and by knowing your carrier he can send a text to you from his E-mail.

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Ok, thanks. My yahoo mail authentication works by sending a confirmation to that phone number. Yikes! I hope it’s for email texting as you said.

But I should check any accounts that use that #. It’s not my RW phone number but it is associated with some of my websites

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