With the advent of the latest technology, life has become simpler and easier than ever. You can have anything you want, within a few minutes. Order food, electronic equipment, spa services, etc without having to step outside your home. You can also book deals and offers online. This is all great.
However, the cases of cybercrime are also on a rise. IT professionals consider end-user devices as the most vulnerable to breaches and security threats, says an investigation report from AT&T. In this post, I am going to make you aware of a new form of cyberattack known as Sim Swap.
What Is a Sim Swap Scam?
Sim Swap scam is one of the simplest ways a scammer or a hacker can get access to all your text messages, phone calls and other personal information (like birth date, father’s name, location, etc).
A scammer calls your wireless carrier customer service department and tells them a bogus story of how they lost their previous phone and now needs a new sim with the same number.
After being asked for contact information, they illicitly provide your number. Usually, a customer service representative asks one or two security questions like what is your birth date, or name of your home town, etc. The scammer prepares for the security questions by gather information from your social media profiles.
5 out of 10 times a scammer is expected to pass the short verification process. As a result, they get a new sim card delivered to their home with your number. Before sending the new sim card, the wireless carrier provider ends the service to the sim card you own.
You no longer are able to make phone calls, receive/send text messages, or have access to internet. Several security companies including a government agency known as Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information (FTCCI) has alerted the people about this scam. You can check out the report by FTCCI here.
How to Prevent Yourself From Becoming a Victim to Sim Swap Scam?
A scammer is likely to contact you via a phone call or a text message to fish for your personal information. Most often, scammers disguise themselves as regular people and join social networks like WhatsApp groups, Facebook groups, etc. This is why it is essential to install a caller ID app on your phone.
Apps like Truecaller, Whoscall, Showcaller, and Mr. Number work great. In addition, they have freemium versions. Chances are, other potential victims must have identified the scammer and blocked them on their phone. Hence, the caller ID app will notify or alert you when as they attempt to connect with you via a call or a text message.
Also, the FTCCI has asked people to not to provide their personal information to a stranger (either online, via a phone call, or in-person). Scammers disguise themselves as a bank or federal employees and can show up unexpectedly. Hence, it is essential that you are always on a lookout for such fraudsters.