How to Protect Yourself from SIM Swap Scams?


When it relates to keeping care of your personal belongings, you believe yourself to be a responsible individual. You have never lost your cash in a cab or a valuable ring down the toilet. You never leave your mobile phone is unsecured, but you discover it is behaving weirdly one day.

Did you know that your smartphone might get into the hands of hackers even without leaving your possession? SIM swapping is a technique that fraudsters use to access your mobile phone and internet accounts.

Don’t panic: you can do several simple actions to protect your mobile phone from unwanted access and resume confident use of your devices. This article will discuss SIM swap, how it works, and SIM swap prevention techniques.

What Is A SIM Card? 

First and foremost, what is a SIM card? Subscriber identity module (SIM) is a computer microchip that uniquely identifies your mobile. It saves all your images, contacts, texts, applications, phone numbers, and phone plans. In most circumstances, you may migrate your applications, photos,  and other data by popping your SIM card out of an old device and inserting it into a new one.

What Is SIM Swapping? 

According to its name, SIM swapping does not necessitate a hacktivist gaining physical access to the device and stealing your SIM card. Remote SIM swapping is possible. With a bit of crucial data regarding your life, a fraudster can accurately respond to security questions, spoof you, and persuade your mobile provider to switch your mobile number to a new SIM card. The fraudster can then gain access to the information on your device and begin altering your login details, locking you out of your internet banking account, email, and other accounts.

After the T-Mobile database security breach, SIM changing became particularly important. Hackers stole over 1 Million mobile numbers and personal information. Fraudsters may then utilize this information to SIM swap, receive customers’ two-factor verification tokens by email or text, and access the private account.

What Are the Indicators of A SIM Swap Scam?

If you detect any of the following warning indicators, inform your cellular phone company right away:

  • You are being unable to access your device’s internet account. If you unexpectedly find yourself locked out of your smartphone company’s online account, inform your mobile carrier right once; a SIM change could be the reason.
  • There is no cellular phone connectivity, even if the coverage is good. It is time to contact your carrier if your cellphone breaks connectivity if you can’t receive messages or calls despite clear reception.
  • Alerts from phone services for activities you did not do. Be on the lookout for unusual activity notices. Most cellular carriers will tell you when something unique occurs to your account.

If you think you’ve been a target of a SIM swap fraud, contact your cellphone provider and explain that you did not make any modifications to your account. You should also get your bank and inquire about any not yours activities. It is also good to sign up for a trustworthy credit monitoring service. (At SNB, we provide a Value Checking account with credit checks and id theft security.)

How to Prevent SIM Swapping? 

Protect your phone and personal details protected from SIM swapping by following these recommendations.

You should lock your mobile number with your service provider

Many providers offer a “Number Lock” (also known as a “Port Freeze”) to secure your phone number from unwanted transfers. Once a number gets locked, it can’t be migrated to another carrier or line until the lock removes – generally done by physically going into the store or entering a PIN. It is wise to acquire a number lock if your cellular phone provider enables it.

Limit how many personal details you post on the internet

Malicious actors will cling to the tiniest details to fool your provider into believing they are you. You should not post your full name, birth date, phone number, and address. Also, avoid oversharing sensitive information on social media. These facts are likely to have been mentioned in the online security questionnaires used to authenticate your identity.

Do not be fooled by phishing messages, emails, or phone calls

Malicious hackers frequently use phishing communications to obtain confidential details. Fraudsters often attempt to imitate trusted organizations, assuming that you will gladly reply to their questions or examine their emails. Your bank, the government, and respected health care providers will never approach you out of the blue to request personal details. Call the organization on your own rather than hanging up or deleting the message.

Utilizing authentication applications, set up a two-factor verification

Two-factor verification is usually a good idea, but, in the scenario of SIM swapping, verification applications, rather than texted or emailed codes, are the most reliable means to get verification codes. It is also an excellent option to add extra security features to authentication applications, such as safeguarding them with a PIN, face ID, or fingerprint. Pick pin codes that have nothing to do with addresses, anniversaries, or birthdays. Choose a variety of numbers randomly.

Use robust security questions and passwords

To secure your mobile phone’s internet account, use complex passwords that are almost impossible to predict and have at least 12 characters (and all of your online accounts, for that matter). Use identification questions that even close friends won’t be able to answer.

When feasible, use Touch/Face ID verification

Use smartphone applications that allow two-factor biometrics (Touch/Face Identification) whenever feasible. For example, you can use a facial recognition or fingerprint reader as a login requirement on the SNB Mobile Application. Even if a thief has your cell number, they will be unable to recreate your biometrics details.

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