FCC proposes new rules to combat SIM swapping scams2021-10-01 17:59 by Daniela
SIM swapping scams have been on the rise these past couple of years, and since most online services these days are tied to people's phone numbers, the technique has the potential to ruin victims' lives. Now, the Federal Communications Commission is seeking to create new rules that would help prevent SIM swapping scams and port-out fraud, both of which are techniques designed to hijack people's phone numbers and identities.
"The FCC has received numerous complaints from consumers who have suffered significant distress, inconvenience, and financial harm as a result of SIM-swapping and port-out fraud," the commission said. "In addition, recent data breaches have exposed customer information that could potentially make it easier to pull off these kinds of attacks."
SIM swapping occurs when bad actors attempt to convince a carrier to redirect someone's phone service to a new device, granting them a phone with the victim's credentials. It's not the only threat the FCC is taking aim at; there's also port-out fraud, where bad actors go to a carrier different than the one you use and convince it to transfer your service to a device they can access.
Specifically, the FCC proposes changing rules so carriers will be required to adopt secure methods of authenticating customers before redirecting phone numbers to a new device or carrier. It also proposes requiring providers to immediately notify customers whenever a SIM change or port request is made on their accounts.
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