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Posted on May 16, 2022

As your trusted banking partner, we want to make sure you are aware of a current ongoing scam and also provide some helpful tips on how you can avoid falling victim to scams.

There are a number of steps that individuals can take to protect their phones from SIM card hijacking.

Your cellular device has a small chip called a SIM card. Hackers have been able to fool carriers into transferring a mobile account to a device with a different SIM card by calling the carrier’s customer service with a fake emergency claiming to have lost their phone and needing to transfer the account to another phone. If they have sufficient information (address, account number, social security number, etc.), they may be able to convince someone to re-assign your SIM to another fraudulent phone. Once this happens, they have access to all your email and other accounts you have set up on your phone. Since they control the phone, verification texts and calls will now go to that fraudulent device.

Here are some steps you can take to help prevent this kind of hack:

  • Set up a PIN on your phone.
  • Set up a PIN with your carrier.
  • Enable a NO PORT setting with your carrier.
  • Try to not use your cell phone number on accounts for voice or text confirmation. Use a virtual phone number such as Google Voice or Ring
  • Use an independent multi-factor verification method when possible (Duo, Google or Microsoft Authenticator) for your email accounts.

Learn more about Cell Phone Fraud from the FCC  here.

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