Monday, December 5, 2022

SIM SWAPPING SCAM

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Amid the advancing dangers of phishing, malware, and ransomware, SIM swapping often gets overlooked. Two-factor authentication may not provide as much protection as you think from cryptocurrency scammers. The man had his phone number stolen, which allowed hackers to intercept the authentication code and empty the account.

If you notice social media activity that’s not yours, this could be an indicator that your account was hacked. This happens when someone steals your phone number and then inserts it into a different phone. They then try to access your other accounts.

If the fraudulent user has deactivated your SIM card, they could be sending text messages or making phone calls on it. This scam is also used for entertainment, to send messages, and more.

What is SIM swapping?

SIMs are small, removable chip cards located in mobile phones. A company’s SIM cards should be protected with a PIN or password to prevent this from occurring. Anyone who contacts this number gets sent to the scammers’ device, not yours. Beware of scams when logging in to your bank. They could find out your username and password, then send two-factor authentication texts to a phone number that now goes to them instead of you.

For a SIM swap to work, cybercriminals will need your SIM card which they can obtain by impersonating you. To do this, cybercriminals require information like your full name, ID proof, phone number, etc. Following this, the scammer would simply contact your mobile services provider and convince them that they are you. If this is not proven false, there’s a serious risk of cybercriminals harming you through targeted SIM swapping.

Cybercriminals use that second SIM to access your data, siphoning out money and copying sensitive information. They can even hack into your banking details and start transferring money off to another account.

How SIM swapping works and the importance of understanding SIM Cards

The SIM card in your phone contains permission to make calls and texts, as well as other data. Without the SIM card, you can only do some basic things with your phone that don’t require Internet access like taking photos.

To steal your personal information, scammers will first gather as much information as they can about you and then engage in social engineering.

Criminals can answer security questions on your mobile phone with information from your smartphone.

The data collected on you through malware and phishing can be used by con artists. Scammers might disguise themselves in emails with a subject, or phone number provider. This email might say that you need to click one link for your account to be open. When you do, you’re taken to a new page with personal information that scammers then have access to. Scammers can use dark web information to convince your cell company to transfer your number.

●    Social media played a role in SIM swapping

Scammers can use your social media profiles to gather information on you that may allow them to impersonate you in a SIM swap scam. You might want to choose unguessable answers to your security questions, such as your mother’s maiden name or high school mascot. If these are included in your Facebook profile, it is easy for a fraudster to uncover this information.

Learn how SIM Password Swapping can happen
  • If your phone provider sends you a notification that your SIM card or number has been activated on another device, you may be a victim of theft. These days, cybercriminals use more sophisticated methods to get sensitive information.
  • When you check your credit card statement online and notice several transactions that do not seem to be ones you have made, this is a sign that criminals may have accessed your account. They might have done this by first stealing your phone number and receiving the information sent over text message to access your account.

There are ways you can protect yourself from SIM swap fraud, for example by using two-factor authentication.

  • Boost your cellphone’s account security by using strong passwords and answers to know only by you.
  • If you have the option to set a separate PIN code or passcode for your phone, do it.
  • Don’t solely rely on your phone number as a security measure. Text messaging is not encrypted and can be used to spoof identities.
  • If you want to authenticate your device, which has two-factor authentication but does not tie up your phone number, you can use an authentication app such as Google Authenticator.
  • Search if your bank and mobile carrier can share knowledge on SIM swap activity and implement alerts and more checks.
  • Banks can use behavioral analytics to help them discover compromised devices and prevent people from sending texts with passwords.
SIM swapping: Tips to stay safe

Researchers have found that SIM swapping is a growing problem. They suggest implementing new protections, like creating unique passwords, so you can stay safe.

  • If your phone loses its signal, it’s a sign that someone may have inserted a duplicate SIM. Contact the authorities and deactivate your card as soon as you can to keep your information secure.
  • Always check before you enter some personal information, and don’t give it to just any website if you are not sure about them.
  • If a website does not provide the HTTPS protocol, research its legitimacy before entering your personal information.
  • You can take precautions against phishing emails by looking out for tell-tale signs.

SIM Swapping is a method hackers may use to steal your identity. It should be avoided if you can, as it’s not foolproof for security. Find alternate methods of being sure that you’re the owner of your account. They might say that the SIM card was lost or sold by mistake and that the original phone is long gone.

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