The Definition: The Bluetooth Hack. You may have never heard of the term “blue-jacking”, and you certainly hope you are never its victim. When your phone is blue-jacked, a scammer can take control of your mobile and use it to make himself quite a handsome payday, indeed.
The Mark: Any owner of a Bluetooth enabled mobile phone – if he has forgotten to disable the Bluetooth when he is not using it. As is typical, a mark is someone who is too lazy, or too careless, or too just-plain uninformed. Visitors to this site have no such excuse.
The Scam: The piece of equipment that is key to pulling off this scam is a mobile pocket PC, set up to hunt for a blue-tooth connection. Due to a flaw in many Bluetooth enabled mobile phones, a remote mobile looking for a signal can actually pick up the signal of another nearby mobile. This defect is the only crack in the armor our modern-day cons need to exploit your phone, and your wallet.
Our scammer works in any crowded public place, seemingly intent on his pocket PC, but in reality searching for a signal to blue-jack. When he finds one, he has two jobs: one is to stay in range so he can control the hijacked phone; the other is to use his PC to make a call on the hijacked line. This is where the hustler stuffs his pockets.
Prior to instituting the scam, our con men have set up a premium-rate telephone line, which will charge those who call the line £1.50 per minute of call time. So all our hustler has to do, whilst in range of the mark’s phone, is dial up the premium-rate line using the mark’s connection and keep that connection going as long as possible. Every minute that goes by makes him a little richer.
A few hours on the job can net the scammer hundreds of pounds, while the careless mark doesn’t even know he’s been had – until he receives his telephone bill. At that point, he (hopefully) learns his lesson. He may never be able to sort the whole thing out, and may spend days trying to figure out who lifted his phone and dialed these calls while he wasn’t looking.
The Lesson Learned: Like so many other scams, a little knowledge goes a long way towards preventing a rip-off. So does paying a little attention. Time after time, we marvel at the mark’s trusting nature and inability to watch his own valuable property. After perusing these scams, there is just no excuse for it. The lesson learned? Disable your Bluetooth when not in use. Couldn’t be simpler.