There is a thief in the UK who is breaking into gym lockers and stealing credit cards and cell phones, then using the pair to use the credit card.
Phones, of course, can be made inaccessible with the use of passwords and face or fingerprint unlocking. And bank cards can be stopped.
But the thief has a method which circumnavigates those basic safety protocols.
Once they have the phone and the card, they register the card on the relevant bank’s app on their own phone or computer. Since it is the first time that card will have been used on the new device, a one-off security passcode is demanded.
That verification passcode is sent by the bank to the stolen phone. The code flashes up on the locked screen of the stolen phone, leaving the thief to tap it into their own device. Once accepted, they have control of the bank account. They can transfer money or buy goods, or change access to the account.
The most effective solution is also, for many, the least feasible: go to the gym with no valuables.
Other than that, the best way to stop this particular thief and this particular method is to make sure they cannot read the verification code sent by the bank. This is done in your phone’s settings:
- Go to Settings
- Scroll to Messages
- Scroll to Notifications
- Scroll to Show Previews where there are three choices: Always / When Unlocked / Never
- Select either When Unlocked or Never. Your messages will no longer flash up when your phone is locked
- Go to Settings
- Select Lock Screen
- Select Notifications
- Select Don’t Show Notifications. Your messages will no longer flash up when your phone is locked