Do you know How to Protect Yourself from SIM Card Swapping? Smartphones have become an important part of people’s daily lives. People already use them to order food to be delivered to their homes, transfer money from one bank account to another, and access work environments in the cloud.
As more and more daily tasks require the use of these devices, cybercriminals are coming up with new ways to trick their victims, which are getting more and more complicated over time.
According to the Internet Security Office, one of them is called “SIM swapping.” This is a scam in which cybercriminals try to make a fake copy of a user’s SIM card (OSI).
First, the attacker pretends to be you so that they can get a copy of your card. To do this, they call the phone company that runs the card and give them information about the victim, like their name and ID number.
Cybercriminals could have gotten this information from other social engineering attacks (like SMS fraud, “phishing,” or identity theft from the companies themselves) or by looking through your social networks.
Another way to get sensitive information from victims is for them to download fake apps or connect to free or fake Wi-Fi networks after downloading fake apps.
Once they have all of the information and have called the company’s operator, the fraudsters can ask for a second SIM card. In this way, a new card is made, and the legal user’s card is made useless.
Loss of coverage
The victim is then left without phone service. This means that the mobile device won’t be able to recognize the SIM card, the coverage won’t show up, and it won’t let the phone receive or send SMS.
On the other hand, cybercriminals will be able to get to your personal information and take control of your apps, using your identity on social networks, email accounts, and online banking.
So, you can do bank transactions however you want, since you also have control over the notifications that these services usually send to confirm, among other things, the sending and receiving of money transfers.
How to avoid being victims of ‘swapping’
Because it is a common scam that is also hard to stop, OSI suggests taking a number of steps to avoid falling for it.
The first step is to get in touch with the phone company if you lose service for no apparent reason, such as when you switch to a different operator. As an extra safety measure, it is also helpful to set up two-step authentication.
To do this, you can use and download apps like Microsoft Authenticator or Google Authenticator, which are made to protect your security, as an alternative two-factor method.
Also, it’s a good idea to update your account recovery options in case the hackers were able to get into other personal accounts and get the information they needed to do the “swapping.”
Also, you should pay extra attention to the information you share on social networks or other public channels, as well as the Privacy Settings on these platforms.
Lastly, it’s best to only download apps from official stores like Google Play or the Apple Store and to change your access credentials every so often.
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