Every mobile phone has a SIM – a chip that identifies the phone as yours on the network. It can be a removable card or an eSIM that stays inside. But either way, this “subscriber identity module” pairs your phone number to your device.
Some thieves search for ways to steal your phone number. And they don’t have to physically have your phone.
First, they target a person with valuable online accounts. These could include a financial account or a social media account with a large following.
- Building tools to make it harder for someone to pretend to be you
- Helping companies flag suspected thieves during online transactions by strengthening text-authentication tools
- Training employees and customers to better recognize impersonation attempts
- Expanding fraud detection and support
- Applying advanced technology to detect and stop suspected unauthorized SIM swaps
- Working closely with law enforcement to identify these criminals and bring them to justice
- Be careful about sharing your mobile phone number. Consider using a different number, such as a landline, with businesses like grocery stores and dry cleaners. Limit sharing your mobile number anywhere it might be posted publicly or to many people, such as on social media, email signatures, and phone lists.
- Learn about the security measures available and make sure you are using the most secure authentication methods.
- If you want to be particularly careful, store cryptocurrency in “cold storage” – an environment without online access.
- Don’t store cryptocurrency wallet credentials online. Instead, write them down and keep them in a secure physical location.
- When choosing financial investments and services, consider that some are protected from theft and fraud, others are not. For example, cryptocurrency accounts are not insured from theft like other types of traditional financial accounts. If cryptocurrency is stolen from you, it most likely cannot be recovered.
If you believe your SIM card has been swapped without your consent, report it to your carrier right away.
You can also refresh yourself on our Cyber Aware tips to protect yourself online.