10 tips to help protect yourself from phone scams

Here are some easy steps you can take to help protect your T-Mobile account and double down against phone scams and fraud.



Keep your account safe


Set up a unique account PIN/passcode for when you call in

Having a PIN/passcode adds an extra layer of protection to your account. This PIN/passcode is separate from your online account password. You simply need to call 611 from your mobile phone, or 1-800-937-8997 and tell our Care team that you want to add a PIN/passcode to your account. You'll be asked to create a 6-to-15-digit passcode. Be sure to use a number that you will remember – you'll be asked to provide it every time you contact our Care team.


Add an Authorized User to your account

If a family member or friend is on your account, adding them as an Authorized User gives them the ability to activate lines, add or remove features, change rate plans, and more. To add or remove an Authorized User, call our Care team at 611 from your mobile phone, or 1-800-937-8997.


Add port validation for more protection

Fraudsters can attempt to compromise personal bank accounts by trying to take over and transfer phone numbers from one wireless provider to another. This is a scheme that affects the entire wireless industry. Ask to add port validation to your account at the time that you set up a unique account PIN/passcode. If someone attempts to port your number from T-Mobile to another wireless provider, the new carrier will be required to validate the request with T-Mobile using your PIN/passcode.


To add port validation, call 611 from your mobile phone, or 1-800-937-8997. Learn more about port-out protection here.


Change your online account password & security questions

It's a good idea to change your T-Mobile ID password and security questions every few months, and turn on 2-step verification, which will require an extra verification step in addition to entering your password every time you sign in to My T-Mobile or the T-Mobile app. If your phone has a compatible fingerprint scanner (such as Touch ID), you can use it on the T-Mobile app so you can sign in securely without having to remember your password each time.


Set up the Primary Account Holder for My T-Mobile

Having the right permissions on My T-Mobile set up helps prevent unwanted changes from being made to your account.



Beware of common telemarketing scams


Just say no to suspicious calls

Beware of callers from unknown numbers who immediately ask, “Can you hear me?” If you say ‘yes’ to them – or any unknown caller – you could fall victim to fraud: the caller could record your affirmative response and use it to sign you up for an expensive service or to ‘prove’ that you agree to charges on a credit card. It’s best to simply hang up without responding. But, if you think the call may be legit, you could answer, “I can hear you.”


Unless you contact us first, we'll never call you to verify a one-time PIN sent through text or ask you for your personal information – like your account passcode or Social Security Number.


That 'local' number may not be so local

Scammers can use a fake number from an area code close to or familiar to you, to make you more likely to assume that the call is from a local business and get you to answer the call. T-Mobile offers automatic scam protection, including Scam ID and Scam Block included at no additional charge. For more information on common telemarketing scams, head here.



Make sure that refurbished phone is legit


Check the factory settings

Make sure the phone has been cleared of any evidence of prior ownership. If it’s been restored to factory settings, the memory should be clear. If you find any information stored in the phone, it may not be entirely safe.


Look for the phone's serial number (IMEI/MEID/ESN)

The phone’s unique serial number can typically be found underneath the battery. Call the manufacturer to check on the history of the phone using that number – it’s unique to every phone, so you should be able to get details on previous ownership. If it was reported stolen, the manufacturer should be able to tell you.


You can also use the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association free stolen phone checker tool, or a more comprehensive searching option like CheckMEND for a small fee.


Purchase from a reputable retailer or manufacturer

Any reputable business will be able to provide details of the refurbishment, including prior ownership. T-Mobile offers great prices on certified pre-owned phones.



Got more questions on protecting yourself from mobile fraud? Chat with a Care rep however it’s most convenient for you, and find more info here.