Cases of swapping through smartphones increase

Cyber ​​criminals are increasingly using the scam method known as swapping, which consists of duplicating the SIM card of mobile phones

As smartphones are increasingly required for all daily activities, cybercriminals are finding new methods to deceive their victims, which are becoming more sophisticated and complex over time.

One of them is called SIM ‘swapping’, a fraud through which cybercriminals try to fraudulently duplicate the SIM card of a user’s device, as mentioned by the Internet Security Office (OSI).

First, the attacker impersonates your identity to get a duplicate of your card. To do this, they contact the telephone operator of the card by phone and provide the victim’s personal information, such as their name and ID number.

Cybercriminals may have collected this data through other social engineering attacks (such as SMS fraud, ‘phishing’ or identity theft from the companies themselves), as well as by digging through your social networks.

Another way of accessing sensitive information of victims is through downloading fraudulent applications on their devices, or after connecting to free or fake Wi-Fi networks.

Once all the data has been collected and the call has been made to the company’s operator, the fraudsters can request a duplicate SIM card. In this way, a new card is created, and the one held by the legal user is invalidated.

Subsequently, the victim is left without telephone service, so that the mobile device will not be able to identify the SIM card, the coverage will not be reflected, nor will it allow the receipt or sending of SMS.

Cybercriminals, on the other hand, will be able to access your personal information and take control of your applications, impersonating your identity on social networks, email accounts or digital banking.

In this way, you can carry out bank transactions as you please since you also control the notifications that these services usually offer to confirm the sending and receipt of money transfers, among other actions.

How to avoid being victim of swapping

Because it is a very common scam and, at the same time, complex to stop, OSI recommends taking a series of measures to avoid being victims of this increasingly widespread fraud.

The first of these is to establish contact with the telephone company in the event of having lost coverage for no apparent reason, such as portability to another operator. In addition, it is convenient to establish two-step authentication, as an additional measure.

To do this, applications intended for your security protection, such as Microsoft Authenticator or Google Authenticator, can be used and downloaded as alternative two-factor methods.

Likewise, it is advisable to update the account recovery options, in case the cybercriminals have managed to access other personal accounts to collect the necessary information to proceed with the ‘swapping’.

Special attention should also be paid to the information that is provided through social networks or public channels, as well as the Privacy Settings options of these platforms.

Finally, it is recommended to exclusively download applications from official stores such as Google Play or the Apple Store, as well as update the access credentials periodically.

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Source: dpa

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