Denver bar patrons are being warned of a popular new scam aimed at collecting financial information from stolen or lost smartphones.
Since May, there have been 37 cases of scammers posing as helpful bar owners who get access to stolen smartphones and then drain financial accounts from the phone’s apps, say Denver Police.
The scam begins when crooks steal smartphones from unsuspecting bar customers. They then wait for the phone’s owner to call the phone the next morning in hopes of getting it back. The crook, who often identifies himself as a helpful bar employee, asks the phone’s owner for their pass code to verify ownership.
The phone’s owner, thinking the crook is only trying to make sure the phone is returned to the rightful owner, gives the crooks the pass code. The scammer now changes all the owner’s passwords and then moves money via the apps the owner uses to reimburse his friends.
“Now, not only is her phone truly gone, but so is her money,” say police.
Police say phones should always be secured and owners should create complex passcodes to make it harder to access information. But most of all, phone owners should never give out PIN, passcode, or other passwords out at any time, to anyone, police said.
And if your phone is missing, long on to your account and wipe all you personal information and deactivate any payment accounts immediately.