Around Acadiana

Apr 22, 2013 1:11 PM by MELISSA CANONE

BBB alerts consumers to protect Bluetooth-enabled devices

The Better Business Bureau of Acadiana is warning local residents to scammers using special software to hack into Bluetooth-enabled devices including smart phones, tablets, laptops and other devices.

Many drivers are turning to Bluetooth technology to safely talk hands-free as they drive, but scammers are finding ways to exploit this technology for their own gains.

Scammers have a new technique called "bluebugging" to gain access to sensitive information stored in cell phones. The information is then used to gain access to banking accounts or commit other types of identity theft.

With special software, the scammer intercepts the Bluetooth signal to hack into the cell phone and gain access to contacts as well as private information, including passwords, photos, text messages and the phone's call history.
Scammers have the most success bluebugging while in busy areas and the new trend is to set up pay-per-minute numbers on the hacked phone to rack up large phone charges.

As technology becomes more advanced, scammers evolve to find new ways to access personal information through technology.

It is important to understand how scammers access this information to protect against it.

The BBB offers tips to protect against bluebugging:

· Always use a pin on your cell phone. Use a minimum of eight characters in your PIN. The longer your code, the more difficult it is to crack.
· Sign-off. Switch your Bluetooth into "not discoverable" mode when you aren't using it. If you make a call from your car, be sure to switch it off when you get out.

· Be wary of unknown requests. Don't accept pairing requests from unknown parties. If you happen to pair your phone with a hacker's computer, then all your data is at risk.

· Stay updated. Make sure you download and install regular security updates. Keeping your phone or smart devise updated is an important way to protect it.

The BBB of Acadiana works for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses. Please contact the BBB at www.acadiana.bbb.org or (337) 981-3497 24 hours a day for information on businesses throughout North America.

The BBB of Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.

Acadiana residents can now have BBB information in the palm of their hand with the official BBB Search app, a convenient, mobile BBB solution available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The app can be found at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bbb-search-find-local-businesses/id440014505?mt=8.

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