Preventing Wireless Phone Number Porting Fraud

Dear Valued Customer,

U.S. Cellular® values you as a customer and is committed to protecting your privacy. We take this responsibility seriously and it is for this reason, we want to communicate with you about a recent security incident and the steps that U.S. Cellular is taking to safeguard your cell phone number from wireless phone number "porting" fraud.

What happened?

We recently detected a data security incident in which unauthorized individuals may have gained access to your customer account number and wireless phone number. At this time, we have no indication that there has been unauthorized access to your U.S. Cellular online user account ("My Account"). However, given this information may be used in a request to "port" a cell phone number to another carrier, and the industry-wide increases in fraudulent port requests, we are taking additional steps to prevent porting fraud and ensure that you keep control of your cell phone number.

What Information Was Involved?

As indicated above, only your customer account number and wireless telephone number were impacted in this incident. There is no evidence of improper access to your account passwords or any other personal information contained in your online account. We also have no evidence that there have been fraudulent port requests on your account to date. To keep it that way, we are introducing some new procedures to help verify any port request you may make.

What is U.S. Cellular Doing?

U.S. Cellular has blocked the ability of your account to be transferred to another wireless carrier without additional verification from you. In the event there is a request to transfer your service to another wireless service provider, U.S. Cellular will not allow the transfer until we have received an additional verification code sent to your previously validated device which will help us confirm your identity.

This verification code process will be in place until early May, when we will roll out a new procedure across U.S. Cellular to further safeguard the porting process. U.S. Cellular will be enhancing its standard procedures to transfer a wireless number from U.S. Cellular to another carrier to require customers to provide their account PIN number as an additional piece of data associated with your account as part of the transfer request. The change to this transfer process is scheduled to occur by May 6, 2020.

What You Can Do

While U.S. Cellular has put in place processes to block fraudulent attempts to port your number to a new carrier, you should nonetheless remain vigilant in reviewing your account information and monitoring your other online accounts. You should also remain vigilant against phishing schemes, and if you have any concerns about the validity of a communication that appears to be from us, you can contact Customer Service at 1-877-731-9108. This is the Federal Trade Commission's page to help you recognized a phishing scam. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-recognize-and-avoid-phishing-scams#recognize

If you have any concerns about your online account, out of an abundance of caution, you can always reset your My Account password by visiting My Account or calling 1-877-731-9108. You could also consider changing your PIN on your U.S. Cellular My Account by contacting Customer Service at 1-877-731-9108. You are encouraged to create a strong PIN by avoiding sequences, repetition, and mirroring personal information, such as social security numbers or date of birth.

Your confidence in our ability to safeguard your personal information and your peace of mind are very important to us. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter or our new procedures to combat porting fraud, please contact us toll free at 1-877-731-9108.

Sincerely,
Jay M. Ellison
Executive Vice-President, Operations