Use Bluetooth? Watch out for hackers

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Next time you hook your device up to Bluetooth speakers or wireless headphones, remember that you could be giving scammers a chance to hack your phone.

The Better Business Bureau of Eastern Carolina warns that scammers are using specialized software to intercept your Bluetooth signal and hack into your phone.

The scammer is able to gain access to your contacts, photos, texts, e-mails, etc. The goal is to commit identity fraud or rack up the charges on your phone, then leave you footing the bill.

The BBB says nearly 80% of Americans own a smartphone with Bluetooth capabilities, putting millions of people potentially at risk.

Luckily, there are ways to protect yourself from hacking:

Disable Bluetooth when you are not using it. Switch Bluetooth into "not discoverable" mode when you aren't using it. If you make a call from your car, be sure to turn it off when you get out.

Don't accept pairing requests from unknown users. If you end up pairing your phone with a someone's computer, all of your information will be accessible.

Require user approval for connection requests. Therefore, you can keep track of who is using your Bluetooth device at all times.

Be aware of your surroundings when using Bluetooth. The more crowded the place that you use Bluetooth, the greater your risk of being hacked.