How does it work?
1. The scammer gathers your personal information through social engineering tactics such as phishing.
2. The scammer uses the info gathered to contact your cellphone network provider or, in some cases, contact you directly to offer you a "SIM upgrade."
3. Once the scammer successfully transfers your number to another SIM card, your phone will lose its network connection and all your calls and messages will be directed to the new SIM card the scammer uses.
4. The scammer uses the acquired phone number to intercept one-time passwords (OTP) sent via SMS that can give access to your online bank accounts, social media pages, etc.
What are the warning signs?
- You’re unable to place calls or texts.
- You’re notified of activity elsewhere.
- You’re unable to access accounts.
How can you protect yourself?
- Don’t reply to calls, emails, or text messages that request personal information.
- Limit the personal information you share online.
- If possible, set up a PIN or password on your cellular account.
- Use stronger authentication measures such as complex passwords and two-factor authentication, if available on accounts that contain sensitive personal/financial information.