Yes, that’s right! Fraudsters can steal your mobile device number through a scam known as “SIM card swap.” The small plastic chip inside a mobile device is known as a SIM card. To take control of your mobile phone, these scammers trick your carrier to connect your phone number to a new SIM card in their possession.
Here’s how it works
These criminals often spoof phone numbers that look like they’re coming from a company you trust, such as a bank, retailer, or government agency. Since the number seems credible, you probably answer the call and aren’t suspicious. For example, someone pretending to be from your bank tells you some fraudulent charges have been made using your debit card and, to reverse them, the caller asks for your PIN, security code, and security question answer for verification.
Now that the scammers have your personal information, they call your mobile carrier and trick them into activating a new SIM card that the fraudsters have. Once your carrier completes this request, the scammers have control of your phone number and data associated with it. This is known as SIM card swap fraud. Anyone calling or texting this number will contact the scammer’s device, not your smartphone. The scammers can receive any codes or password resets sent to that phone via call or text for any of your accounts. And that’s it; they’re in.
How to protect yourself
Fraudsters use many tricks to gain access to your personal and account information. The best way to protect yourself is to learn to identify common red flags, listen to your gut, and take action. Remember: No bank, including Synovus, will ever call or email you to ask for your personal information.
Things to look out for:
You receive a call or text from a bank, but the person doesn’t have basic information you’d expect them to have, like your social security number, account number, or mailing address
The caller claims they’re from a bank you do business with, but something doesn’t sound right. They may mispronounce things or have an extreme sense of urgency to get you to act quickly. Caller ID may be used to convince you the call is legitimate. DO NOT trust that the person on the other end is who they say they are. Call the organization back so you know the call is credible.
If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, call 888-SYNOVUS (796-6887) immediately.
Important Disclosure Information
This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information. Diversification does not ensure against loss.
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