Keeping your wireless account and personal information protected

Living in a connected world means access to information is easier than ever. There are so many benefits to this, but there are some downsides too. Fraudsters are using this connectivity to their advantage. Wireless accounts are popular targets for fraudsters who may try to steal your information so they can access your U.S. Cellular® account and commit fraud.

While U.S. Cellular works hard to protect our customers’ accounts and personal information, we cannot prevent all unauthorized access of your information alone, we need your help. Customers need to know how to protect themselves from common fraud schemes.

Why is safeguarding your wireless account so important?

Fraudsters use a practice called phishing to trick people into giving up their personal information. Phishing schemes start with fraudsters pretending to be legitimate businesses which are contacting potential victims through phone, email and text message and luring them into sharing private information such as social security numbers; account PINs and passwords; or credit card and banking information. For example, they may pretend to be from U.S. Cellular® telling you that your account is past due, at risk of being suspended or canceled unless you provide payment information immediately. Other fraudsters will promise you compensation, discounts or rebates if you provide your personal information directly or through a website.

With today’s technology fraudsters often spoof their information by creating fake email addresses or disguising their phone numbers when attempting to trick people into sharing private information. They even create fake websites that look similar to the company they’re pretending to be.

Once fraudsters obtain your information, they may:

  • Take over your account and order new phones or accessories and have them shipped to a different address. Fraudsters do this without your knowledge and leave you to deal with the charges.
  • Transfer (ports-out) your mobile number to a different carrier to use on their own device. They may attempt to gain access to your other online accounts by resetting passwords or otherwise authenticating themselves as you through your mobile number.

Protecting Personal Information

How can I protect my U.S. Cellular® online account?

There are several ways you can protect your U.S. Cellular account information. Foremost, your account has a PIN code that must be verified before the account information can be accessed. We also have several security questions that you can answer if you forget your PIN.

When selecting a PIN for your account, pick a unique number that’s not easy to guess. Some numbers to avoid include:

  • Last 4 digits of your SSN
  • Birthdays
  • Anniversary dates
  • Common numerical values (1234, 2020, 1111)

Make sure that the answers you provide to security questions are not common knowledge, or that you don’t share them accidentally on social media or other areas that can be accessed by fraudsters. (Examples: what was the first concert you went to? What is your favorite drink?)

How do I report my concerns to U.S. Cellular?

Immediately report any concerns to U.S. Cellular's customer service team at 888-944-9400:

  • A lost or stolen phone
  • Your cell phone suddenly no longer connects to the network
  • Frequent wrong number calls or hang-ups
  • Requests such as asking for your device’s ESN (electronic serial number) or IMEI from someone claiming to be from U.S. Cellular

How should I respond to unsolicited requests for my personal information?

Only share your personal information when necessary.

Before responding to any unsolicited request for personal information ask:

  • Who is asking for the information and are you sure they are who they claim to be?
  • Why do they need this information?
  • If at all unsure, do not respond until you contact the requester’s company or agency directly through a published number and verify they’re legitimate
  • Forward any questionable message via text to 7726 from your U.S. Cellular phone. Reporting these messages to 7726 helps us identify phishing messages fraudsters send our customers. We use this information to strengthen our phishing prevention efforts.
  • You can contact U.S. Cellular at 888-944-9400 or by dialing 611 from your cellphone

U.S. Cellular will never ask you to use email or text to provide us with personal information.

Where can I get more information?

We recommend getting additional information and reporting any scams to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can get additional information on phone scams and report any incidents to the FTC at www.ftc.gov/phonefraud

What else can I do?

  • Lock your wireless phone (with a PIN code) when not in use and employ a full password, not a 4-digit code. If available, use the fingerprint or face ID features on your device in addition to a passcode.
  • Check your credit report regularly for errors. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report from each nationwide credit reporting company for free. For more information see the FTC website.
  • Do not carry extra credit cards, your social security card, birth certificate or passport with you unless it is necessary.
  • Destroy or shred preapproved credit applications, bank statements, phone bills and credit card receipts before throwing them away.
  • Limit the ability of companies to share your information with third parties by reviewing their privacy policies. This is sometimes buried in the fine print.
  • Keep all documents containing personal information in a safe place.
  • Use a password manager to avoid using insecure and repeated passwords online.
  • Look for unusual activity on your bills.