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Mon Oct 14, 2019, 01:29 PM

In 'SIM Swap,' Criminals Really Have Your Number

By LIZ WESTON of NerdWallet
today

If you’re not familiar with SIM swap fraud, prepare to be terrified.

This scam, also known as port-out or SIM splitting fraud, allows criminals to hijack your cell phone number. Once they have your number, the bad guys can clean out your financial accounts, confiscate your email, delete your data and take over your social media profiles.

Fraudsters can do all this because many companies — including banks, brokerages, email providers and social media platforms — verify your identity by texting a code to your cell phone. Intercepting those codes can give a criminal an all-access pass to your financial and digital life.

This kind of identify fraud has been around for years, but it’s getting more attention after a wave of cryptocurrency thefts and attacks on high profile victims, including Twitter CEO Jack Dors ey, who briefly lost control of his Twitter account.

THIS IS THE FRAUD THE EXPERTS FEAR MOST

The potential damage is so great that security expert Avivah Litan, vice president at research firm Gartner Inc., fears losing her phone number far more than having her Social Security number compromised.

“I’d rather they took my social, to tell you the truth,” Litan says, “because I care about my retirement money and I know some of it’s protected through phone number access.”

more...

https://www.apnews.com/d2a089048c7542338ae2f81871d1306a

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