Does the thought of a stranger hijacking your mobile number make you nervous?
‘Phone Porting’ and ‘Sim Hijacking’ scams are a very real and sadly all too common threat. Basically, scammers contact the telco retailers, they then request to port your number across to a new sim and/or carrier.
Without the proper security measures in place, you will effectively be shut out of your own phone rendering it useless, whilst the scammer will be provided with your phone number on another sim or carrier.
Any messages, phone calls and security codes you get sent to your mobile will now be in the hands of the scammer.
Paired with billing and account information that may have been stolen from mail sitting in your letter box, the scammer now has sensitive account numbers, your full name and address as well as your mobile number. It doesn’t take much for a scammer to then get on social media and work out your date of birth. Before you know it, your entire life’s details are in someone else’s hands.
What can I do to prevent this?
If you receive an SMS regarding a phone port request, call your telco immediately and request a reversal!
Be vigilant with your mail – bills, letters and accounts with your details on them left in your letterbox are all too easy for a scammer to access. If you are away, arrange for neighbours/family/friends to collect your mail. Ensure your letter box is padlocked, and your key is in a safe place.