Do You Have a Cell Phone? Please Be Careful

By
Real Estate Agent with Mason Real Estate CA BRE 01444168

Do You Have a Cell Phone?  Please Be Careful

I received a warning message from the local San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce.  It was not clear if this incident that is being reported actually happened here in San Jacinto, CA or elsewhere.  The information was posted as a warning to be careful with your cell phone.

Apparently a woman had her purse stolen and inside the purse was her cell phone along with her wallet that included all of her identification and credit cards.

It took about 20 minutes for her to report the incident to the police.  When she was finished, thinking she had done the right thing, she called her husband, from a pay phone.

"Hubby" as he was labeled in the woman's cell phone asked why she was calling, that he had replied to her text with the PIN number for both the cards...and started to chastise her for not being able to keep them straight.

As soon as ‘Hubby' figured out that he had been gamed he immediately called the bank, only to find out that both accounts had already been wiped out.

The thief was able to navigate the contact list and text ‘hubby' for the pin number and clean out the bank accounts in less than 20 minutes.

MORAL OF THIS STORY

Clean up you contact list on your cell phone.  Use name and not titles.  Avoid names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Mom, Dad, Sweetheart and the like.  I would also avoid give-a-way photos for picture caller ID.  Treat your phone as if you are going to give it to the lowest slug in the human race and challenge them to steal from you. 

ANOTHER REASON TO BE CAREFUL

Now, I'm not sure if this happened anywhere or not, but as I sit and contemplate the implications that this sort of crime can lead to, it gets very scary.

Lets say you have a picture of one of your girlfriends as pat of the photo ID in the contact list...and let's say the picture is very flattering.  What would happen if the thief steals the phone and texts this person to meet them somewhere...especially if one of the parties is a real estate agent.  I'll let your own mind wonder s to what the worst-case scenario might be.

Just please be careful with technology.  It's not all innocent and precautions should be taken.  If you receive a text message from a friend or family member to meet somewhere unusual, please CALL them back to confirm.  At the very least, establish a secret password that you use to establish the legitimacy of the connection.

The more technology we introduce into our lives to make life easier and more fun, the easier and more fun thieves and bad people have attacking you...



At the risk of sounding redundant, PLEASE BE CAREFUL and Pass This Information on to Everyone You Care About...EVERYONE!

You Should Also Read:  Do You Have a GPS? Please Be Careful

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Until Next Time, Have a Blessed Day,

John Occhi, ePRO, REALTOR®
DRE Lic No: 01444168


ePro,John Occhi,www.johnocchi.com,realtor      Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist Logo Awarded to John OcchiFive Star Logo,Certification,REO,Five Star Institute     

Excellence in Real Estate,Team Log,John Occhi,www.johnocchi.com,hemet,san jacinto,CA  

This blog and the contents written here is the intellectual property of John Occhi, Temecula - Murrieta, CA REALTOR® in the South West Riverside County region of the Inland Empire of Southern California.  The views and opinions expressed are just that - views and opinions of John Occhi and those who comment.  Please note that I am not an attorney or a tax professional and any time I discuss either topic, I suggest you consult with the proper professional for relevant assistance. 


I am proud to be a full time REALTOR® who is proud to be a contributing member of the ActiveRain community.

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Show All Comments
Rainer
44,014
Lisa Matykiewicz
United Brokers Group - Gilbert, AZ

This is good advise.  You can never be to careful! 

Oct 17, 2009 03:29 AM #1
Rainmaker
530,085
Gary Coles (International Referrals)
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

John,  I bet most people never think of the potential dangers from a cell phone.  thanks for sharing them.

 

Oct 18, 2009 07:49 PM #2
Rainmaker
953,438
Norma J. Elkins
Elite Realty Group - Morristown, TN
Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team

Thanks for sharing - these are things you just never think about that could happen!

Oct 18, 2009 10:12 PM #3
Rainer
176,301
Julia Odom
Select Realty Professionals - Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga Homes for Sale

Yikes, I have Mom & Dad in mine but they don't know my PIN's and wouldn't know how to respond to a text anyway =)

Oct 19, 2009 12:03 AM #4
Rainmaker
2,618,663
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

I don't text, but I need to learn. Thanks for the post it is a jungle out there.

Oct 20, 2009 10:09 AM #5
Rainmaker
284,867
Gene Allen
Fathom Realty - Cary, NC
Realty Consultant for Cary Real Estate

It is scary out there with all the information someone can get from just your cell phone.

Oct 20, 2009 02:31 PM #6
Rainmaker
172,062
Vicki Pedersen
Pedersen Real Estate - Riverside, CA
Providing Exceptional Real Estate Service

Thanks for sharing this good advice.  It got me thinking, though, about the recommendation from police and emergency personnel that I've read suggesting that you put ICE - in front of your spouse's name on your cell phone - ICE standing for in case of emergency - which I have done. I think I'll delete that now that I've read your post. 

Oct 22, 2009 06:46 AM #7
Rainmaker
312,560
John Occhi
Mason Real Estate - Temecula, CA
SRES,CPRES.ePRO - Temecula-Murrieta CA Real Estate

Lisa,

Thanks and please be careful out there.

John

Oct 22, 2009 11:04 AM #8
Rainmaker
312,560
John Occhi
Mason Real Estate - Temecula, CA
SRES,CPRES.ePRO - Temecula-Murrieta CA Real Estate

Gary,

You are right - most people don't think about the potential hazards of a lot of things...thats why the bad guys spend so much time thinking of how to catch us unaware

John

Oct 22, 2009 11:06 AM #9
Rainmaker
312,560
John Occhi
Mason Real Estate - Temecula, CA
SRES,CPRES.ePRO - Temecula-Murrieta CA Real Estate

Norma,

A problem many of us have is that this will never happen to me - the puse snatching must have been in the streets of New York...not in MY hometown.  Plese be careful.

John

Oct 22, 2009 11:07 AM #10
Rainmaker
312,560
John Occhi
Mason Real Estate - Temecula, CA
SRES,CPRES.ePRO - Temecula-Murrieta CA Real Estate

Julie,

They may not know your PINs but what do they know?  How much other info is in your cell that could build a profile about something in your life that someone could use to scam you?  Just saying, be careful...this is not the place to get defensive and think it can't happen to you.

John

Oct 22, 2009 11:08 AM #11
Rainmaker
312,560
John Occhi
Mason Real Estate - Temecula, CA
SRES,CPRES.ePRO - Temecula-Murrieta CA Real Estate

Charles,

Texting is a lot easier than I originally thought and it actually is a pretty good way to communicate.  My assitant has 4 kids - so calling her is always tough.  I can text her a question, and she gets back to me as she can - it's a lot easier than Vice Mail, believe it or not...

John

Oct 22, 2009 11:10 AM #12
Rainmaker
312,560
John Occhi
Mason Real Estate - Temecula, CA
SRES,CPRES.ePRO - Temecula-Murrieta CA Real Estate

Gene,

It's especially scarey if you run your life and / or business with one as a PDA.

John

Oct 22, 2009 11:10 AM #13
Rainmaker
312,560
John Occhi
Mason Real Estate - Temecula, CA
SRES,CPRES.ePRO - Temecula-Murrieta CA Real Estate

Vicki,

I have ICE in my phone also - but I don't have a name that goes with it - so at least there is a barrior that someone has to figure out...although it wouldn't be that hard...the phone number is the same for my wife - that I only have her first name in my phone.

John

Oct 22, 2009 11:12 AM #14
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