SIM swapping, also known as SIM hopping or SIM jacking, is a type of identity theft in which a criminal takes your phone number and assigns it to a different prepaid SIM card. They can then use the sim card on another phone to gain access to your other identities and cause serious harm.
What exactly is a SIM card?
SIM means subscriber identity module, but it is the little, replaceable chip card found in most cell phones. Every SIM card is distinct, and yours is linked to your phone number. The phone number and financial accounts are transferred when you remove them from one phone and replace it with another.
What causes SIM swapping?
An individual impersonating you contacts your mobile carrier to start the SIM-changing scam. They will pretend to have a fresh prepaid SIM card for your account to activate. They may claim that the previous smartphone and SIM card are misplaced, damaged, or sold, with the SIM card still inside.
The mobile provider will almost certainly ask for some form of identification verification, such as your account’s PIN or security questions, and also the last four digits of one’s security number. This will be discussed further later.
As once the criminal has informed the customer service agent at the cell provider that they are legitimate, they can get my phone number changed to their SIM. Your phone number has been disconnected from your phone and allocated to the criminal’s prepaid SIM card, which they’ve inserted into their handset.
Let’s return to the account’s PIN or the last four digits on your social security identity detail. How might someone have this knowledge? This is where people begin to get interesting and reveal where modern cyber thieves are heading.
What’s the best way to tell if the SIM card has already been swapped?
On your end, your phone can start acting strangely. Texting and calls may be ineffective. If you’re connected to the internet, you might start seeing emails about account changes. Friends suspect that your social media accounts have been hacked. Worse yet, illegal financial behavior could emerge.
Welcome to the data-breach world
Thousands of security breaches have happened throughout the years, resulting in the theft of billions of documents, including the April 2021 Facebook security breach, which affected 533 million accounts.
These figures are so huge that you may have become desensitized to them. Maybe nothing horrible has ever transpired to you, and you’ve always been ready to shift your passwords on compromised accounts, so you’re safe, right? Not at all.
According to research findings, while consumers are extremely anxious about their bank statements and social security numbers being exposed in a hacking incident, they are less scared about their name, user ID, or birth date.
Yet, when put properly, this is precisely the type of information that poses a security risk to accounts such as your bank, medical records, mobile carrier, and any account online.
Reset the PIN for your mobile account
Choose one password that is both strong and difficult to guess but that you alone know. Don’t use information like your address, birthdays, or social security number, which could be exposed in a data breach. Please enquire with your mobile carrier about their efforts to safeguard you against prepaid SIM card swapping. Your carrier might already have adequate safeguards in place. If not, the more customers that request security precautions from service providers, the more like they will be implemented.