What is SIM swapping? Learn how to avoid this type of scam

Amidst the many types of cyberattack that exist, there is one that is rarely talked about: it’s SIM swapping. In this kind of fraud, Scammers use social engineering (stealing users’ private information) to appear as legitimate customers To the customer service representatives of the phone companies to obtain a new SIM card with the users phone line.

Computer security company Eset made it clear When criminals seize the phone line, they use important information from the victims Such as email address, identity documents and other data.

Why do they do that? for sRequest a new password that allows them to access bank accounts and other online servicesOn your line, you will receive a one-time verification code that arrives via SMS.

“The first sign of the identity of SIM exchange victims is a loss of network signal on their computers. This is due to the fact that once criminals activate the new SIM in a new device, the line is automatically deactivated,” explained Camilo Gutierrez Amaya, researcher at Eset Latin America.

Jake Moore, Eset Specialist, distributed some Recommendations to avoid becoming a victim of this type of fraud and protect accounts:

– Do not use a date or number that anyone can associate with you as a PIN or verification code.

– Try as much as possible to avoid two-step authentication via SMS and instead use options such as an authentication app or a physical security key.

Although this type of fraud is not new, complaints from SIM swap victims have increased in the past year. During 2021 in the United States, 1,611 complaints were received from victims who said they had had money stolen as a result of their phone lines being hijacked. The losses amounted to a figure of approximately 68 million dollars.

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