How to protect yourself from SIM swapping
Hackers are now using the technique to gain access to your phone number and your accounts.
WASHINGTON — SIM swapping occurs when scammers gain access to your sim card number, usually by telling the cell phone service provider that the device has been lost or damaged, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Once the same number is activated on a new device, the hacker receives all your text messages, calls and data.
According to the agency, scammers may log into your email accounts, social media accounts and change your passwords to potentially lock you out of your own accounts.
They could also use your login credentials to access money in your bank account. This is because once hackers have gained access to your phone number, they can receive verification codes through SMS and bypass two-factor authentication.
The agency urges users to limit the amount of personal information shared online, and in emails and text messages, in order to prevent becoming a victim of SIM swapping.
Users are also advised to set a password or a PIN on their cellular account in order to better protect their phone numbers.
Those who have fallen victim to SIM swapping are urged to contact their cell service provider to gain back access to their account. Once access has been restored, users should change their account passwords.
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