A few weeks ago an unknown person walked into a mobile phone store, claimed to be me, asked to upgrade my mobile phones, and walked out with two brand new i Phones assigned to my telephone numbers.

The Growing Problem of Phone Account Hijacking Records of identity thefts reported to the FTC provide some insight into how often thieves hijack a mobile phone account or open a new mobile phone account in a victim’s name.

In January 2013, there were 1,038 incidents of these types of identity theft reported, representing 3.2% of all identity theft incidents reported to the FTC that month.

I learned that the thief had used a fake ID with my name and her photo.

She had acquired the i Phones at a retail store in Ohio, hundreds of miles from where I live, and charged them to my account on an installment plan.

It appears she did not actually make use of either phone, suggesting her intention was to sell them for a quick profit.

As far as I’m aware the thief has not been caught and could be targeting others with this crime.

A few days later I received an email about mobile phone insurance that the thief had apparently added to my account.

After three trips to my carrier’s retail stores and many hours on the phone, my carrier eventually fixed all the problems and refunded the fraudulent charges.

For example, it may be outside of normal working hours.