SIM Swap Scam: What It Is and How You Can Protect Yourself

Our SIM cards are just as important now as our own mobile phones for the reason that they carry most of our sensitive personal information, such as our social media credentials, banking details, in-app pins, and so much more. As it stands, SIM Swapping is a dangerous form of identity theft that you would definitely not want to become victimized by.

cellphone phone sim scam

So what is SIM Swapping?

SIM Swapping is, in essence, a way for someone to steal your phone number and assign it to a new SIM card. They often do this by successfully phishing all your personal information before impersonating a phone service provider to report that your SIM card had been lost or stolen and that you’ll need to transfer your number.

From there, getting access to your bank, email, and social media accounts becomes super easy; all these fraudsters need to do is log into your accounts and they’ll automatically receive the confirmation codes that would have been texted to your number. Once they’re in, they can just drain all your money away or go on to scam your friends and family too.

How will I know if I’ve become a victim of SIM Swapping?

Some of the tell-tale signs that you were attacked by this cyber fraud are the following:

  • Your phone number suddenly gets deactivated.
  • You are not getting any mobile phone service even if there’s a good signal.
  • You can’t receive calls or texts.
  • You are getting notifications from log-in attempts or activities you didn’t do.
  • You are receiving emails about account or password changes you didn’t make.

What do I do if I became a victim of SIM Swapping?

If you are experiencing the above signs, you may, unfortunately, have become a target of SIM Swappers. You must immediately call your mobile service provider as well as your bank to notify them that your accounts have been compromised. You will also need to change your OTPs and passwords to much stronger ones, and you must consistently monitor your financial accounts.

How can I protect myself from SIM Swapping?

Here are the necessary precautions you need to take in order to stay protected against this scam:

  • Limit the personal details you share online. Avoid sharing your full name, address, phone number, birth date, etc. publicly.
  • Don’t post screenshots of bills that will reveal the aforementioned personal details.
  • Don’t fall for phishing calls, texts, or emails. Always scrutinize every message you get that claim they’re sent by your bank, mobile service provider, or any other company, and make an effort to determine if they’re fake or not.
  • Use strong passwords and don’t reuse them. Also use security questions.
  • Use Face/Touch ID authentication if possible.
  • Make use of a password manager, such as Dashlane or LastPass.

(ALSO READ: Beware of This Text and Email Scam if You Like Online Shopping!)

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