SIM Card Swap Scam: How It Works
A scary scam is happening worldwide these days: the SIM Card Swap, aka the SIM Swap Scam. Let me expose what makes this one of the most dangerous phone scams ever. Plus, I have a video to show you the trick, too.
SIM swapping is fraud or identity theft in which criminals fraudulently gain access to a victim’s mobile phone number by convincing a mobile carrier to transfer the phone number to a SIM card.
Once the fraudsters have control of the victim’s phone number, they can intercept calls and text messages. This allows them to bypass two-factor authentication security measures and gain access to the victim’s various online accounts, including email, social media, and financial accounts.
SIM Swapping in 4 Steps
Here’s how a typical SIM card swap scam works below. I’ve detected four steps:
1. Social Engineering: The scam often begins with the fraudster calling the victim’s mobile carrier’s customer support and impersonating the victim. They may claim to have lost their phone or SIM card and request a replacement or a SIM card swap. Sometimes, they may use pretexting techniques to gather information about the victim to make their story more convincing.
2. Carrier Assistance: If the fraudster successfully convinces the carrier’s customer support to swap the SIM card, the victim’s phone number is now associated with the fraudulent SIM card.
3. Hijacking Your Account: With control over the victim’s phone number, the scammer can intercept SMS messages containing two-factor authentication codes. They can use these codes to gain access to the victim’s online accounts, including email, banking, and social media.
4. Data and Identity Theft: Once the scammer can access the victim’s accounts, they can steal personal information, conduct unauthorized transactions, and potentially cause significant harm.
The SIM Swap Scam Video
Watch the video below to see the SIM Card Swap scam in action:
SIM Card Swap Scam: How To Avoid
To protect yourself from SIM card swap scams, consider the following seven precautions:
1. Use Strong Authentication: Whenever possible, use more secure forms of two-factor authentication, such as authentication apps or physical security keys, instead of relying solely on SMS-based codes.
2. Set Up Account Alerts: Configure your accounts to send alerts or notifications for account changes or login attempts. Use data breach instant notifications like Surfshark to notify you within seconds of theft.
3. Monitor Your Accounts: I am sure you do this, but regularly review your bank and online account statements for any suspicious activities.
4. Password Security: Use strong, unique passwords for your online accounts. Consider using a password manager to keep them organized.
5. Contact Your Carrier: If you suspect any unauthorized changes to your mobile phone account, contact your carrier immediately.
6. Be Cautious of Unsolicited Calls: Be wary of unsolicited calls and requests for personal information over the phone. Verify the identity of the caller before providing any information.
7. Secure Personal Information: Be cautious about sharing personal information online or over the phone. Consider using privacy settings on social media to limit the exposure of your personal details.
Stay vigilant and take the precautions mentioned above. This way, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to a SIM card swap scam and protect your personal information and online accounts.
Report the SIM Swap scam too – see below how. Last but not least, here are more trending e-SIM scams.
How To Report SIM Swapping
Make your family and friends aware of the SIM Card Swap Scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report any kind of scammers to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using the portal below:
How To Protect Yourself More
If you want to be the first to find out the most recent scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
Meanwhile, feel free to educate yourself with some other phone fraud-related articles. The links are published under this paragraph, so that you know more about online security. Last but not least, if you have any bad experiences, make sure to use the comments section below to expose other crooks.
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