What is Sim Swap Scam?

You're not alone if you use your phone to check your email, pay your bills, or post to social media. Consider what would happen if your phone suddenly stopped working: no data, no text messages, no phone calls. Imagine being notified by your cellular operator that your SIM card has been activated on a new device. What exactly is going on? These could be symptoms of your SIM card being switched and your phone number being stolen.

This article will explain what SIM swapping is and what the big phone providers are doing about it. We'll highlight individual wireless carriers' answers and offer recommendations on keeping secure while using today's technologies.

What is SIM Swapping?

SIM switching, also known as SIM hijacking and SIM splitting, is account takeover fraud. The cybercriminal will first gather information about the target to carry out the attack, which is usually done by scouring the Internet for any titbits of data the potential victim may have (over)shared. Personal information on the victim can also be obtained through known data breaches or leaks or social engineering techniques like phishing and vishing. The fraudster wheedles the information directly from the target.

How to Find Out if Your SIM card has been Switched

Your phone may begin to act weirdly on your end. It's possible that texting and calling won't work. You might start receiving emails regarding account changes if you're on WiFi. Your social media accounts may have been hacked, according to friends. Worse, there's a chance that unlawful financial activity will begin.

How Does a SIM Card Swap Work?

They may contact your cell phone carrier and claim that your phone has been misplaced or damaged. Then they request that the carrier activate a new SIM card with your phone number on a new phone that they own. If your provider falls for the ruse and activates the new SIM card, the fraudster, not you, will receive all of your text messages, phone calls, and data on the new phone.

The scammer, who now has your phone number, could use it to register new cellular accounts or buy new phones in your name.

Perhaps they may utilize text messages as a form of multi-factor authentication to log in to your accounts. How? They'll receive a text message containing the verification code they'll need to log in.

How to Avoid SIM Swapping?

You can take some precautions, even though there is no clear answer to this topic.

  • Reset your mobile account's PIN. Choose a PIN that is both powerful and difficult and that only you will know. Don't use personal information like your address, birthdays, or social security number, which might be exposed in a data breach.

  • Ask your mobile carrier what they're doing to keep you safe from SIM swapping. Your provider may already have adequate safeguards in place. If not, the more customers who ask for security precautions from service providers, the more likely they will be implemented.

  • Use Two Factor Authentication. When implementing 2FA, you should think twice about relying solely on SMS text messages and phone calls for additional authentication. Instead, use a two-factor authentication app or a hardware authentication device, such as an authentication app or a hardware authentication device.

  • Be careful of phishing. Requests for personal information in the form of phone calls, emails, or text messages should be ignored. Scammers may use phishing to collect personal data to access your mobile phone, bank, credit card, or other accounts. If you get a request for your account or personal information, contact the company via a phone number or website that you believe is real.