FBI Phoenix warns of popular ‘SIM swapping’ scam, could be used to steal financial information

A scammer identifies an easy target who owns large amounts of digital currency and gets ahold...
A scammer identifies an easy target who owns large amounts of digital currency and gets ahold of their phone number and mobile carrier.(Pexels)
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 11:57 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - FBI Phoenix is advising everyone about a new way criminals are stealing money from virtual currency accounts.

Here’s how it works. A scammer identifies an easy target who owns large amounts of digital currency, or cryptocurrency and gets ahold of their phone number and mobile carrier. They then contact a customer service representative who can port the number to a SIM card, allowing the scammer access to the person’s phone.

Once the scammer is “in” your phone, they can change the passwords to all of your accounts using password resets. Essentially, criminals can break through any mobile two-factor authentication on any account with control of the victim’s phone number.

To protect yourself, the FBI suggests the following:

  • Protect your personal and financial information.
  • Take precautions by giving your mobile account information to representatives over the phone.
  • Use strong multi-factor authentication methods such as biometrics or standalone authentication apps
  • Do not store passwords, usernames, or other information for easy login on mobile device applications.

If you believe you are a victim of SIM swapping, contact your mobile carrier, change all of your passwords, and contact your financial institution. Then reach out to the FBI Phoenix at (623) 466-1999. You can also file a complaint with the FBI at ic3.gov