BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – When you make a call on your cell phone do you worry about someone listening in? Fake cell phone towers are popping up across the country, and the people behind them could be hacking into your signal.
“It makes me feel uneasy and I probably would be much more careful of what I’m saying on my phone,” said Karen Kuwik from Buffalo.
Digital privacy is on everyone’s mind. Dayna Guzik compares it to a home invasion.
“It would be like walking in my home without my permission and starting to poke around my information. It’s that level and these are very personal devices; these are like our homes.”
ESD America manufactures ultra secure cell phones that alert the user if they’re connected to a fake cell phone tower. Recently ESD America’s users reported 17 of these towers throughout the United States in August.
Those interceptors are capable of picking up conversations on the phone and text messages, which doesn’t sit well with people.
“It’s another form of terrorism we just have to keep on top of it. I’m not sure it can be prevented,” said Emmett Marzahn from Buffalo.
These towers aren’t the huge hundred foot structures you might think of – they are small, like the size of a laptop, and they’re movable.
Buzz Bruner is the Director of Business Development for ESD America.
“So you can be in an area where you can intercept calls and an hour later be in a different area where you can intercept different sets of calls,” said Bruner. “The devices work with impunity.”
But the good news is the people using these cell phone interceptors don’t want information about your kids or your trip to the vet.
“Law enforcement use it for the search for bad people. Bad people use it for information for political or economic gains,” explained Bruner.
It still makes Dayna Guzik nervous that someone can hack into her phone.
“I think we are forever going to battle this privacy rights versus rights of organizations to tap into our precious data that they can use for their agendas.”
Fake towers give themselves away by slowing down the performance of your phone from 4G to 2G. That’s when you know your information is at risk.