SIM swapping

SIM Swapping – How to Protect Yourself from the Scam


The introduction of smartphones has changed the dynamics of human life. According to a recent study, it is estimated that close to 7.49 billion people around the world will be actively using smartphones by the end of 2025. Such is our dependence on these mobile devices. Consequently, with the ever-increasing rise in the popularity of smartphones, issues related to SIM swap have also been on the ascend.

Smartphones are personalised devices that contain private information and data of a user. The use of modern smartphones is not just limited to making phone calls and sending text messages. People now prefer to use mobile devices to initiate financial transactions and share private updates on social media platforms. 

SIM swap fraud poses a direct threat to users by crippling us from accessing our accounts and hijacking our personal data. The most common concerns regarding SIM swap fraud are:

  • What is SIM swapping?
  • How to SIM swap?
  • How does SIM swapping work?
  • How to spot SIM swap scams?
  • How to safeguard from SIM swap fraud?

Let us debunk the concept of SIM swapping and identify relevant answers to the queries in the following sections.

What are SIM Swapping Scams?

A SIM card is a small microchip that activates texting, calling, and accessing mobile data features in a smartphone. Each SIM card provides a mobile phone with an independent identity with the allocation of a unique phone number. 

Switching a SIM card to an alternate device automatically transfers the identity and allows the user to access all the services from the alternate device instead. Phone numbers can also be transferred to new SIM cards when a user misplaces or damages the original card. Due to these amenities, smartphone users are susceptible to various types of SIM swap frauds.

With SIM-swapping activities, scammers can gain complete access to all the text messages, emails, contact lists, social media accounts and financial credentials of users. The primary motive of SIM swapping is to seek monetary gain by using financial credentials such as account information, passwords, and crypto wallet access.

However, attackers may also conduct SIM swapping frauds to hack the social media accounts of influential people. Contact list data extracted through SIM swapping can also be used to create fraudulent accounts in the black market. Therefore, it is imperative that people acknowledge the SIM swap issues and implement preventive measures to eradicate the problem.

How does SIM Swapping Work?

SIM cards utilise different user data to effectively connect with mobile networks. If this data is relocated to a new SIM card, then the original user will not be able to access all the amenities offered by the carrier network. This is precisely what SIM swapping aims to trigger.

A scammer initially tries to extract all the personal data of a user by stalking their social media accounts or purchasing critical information from the dark web. Attackers may also choose to interact with an individual by sending emails containing links that redirect them to different websites. Scammers encourage people to fill in details with their personal information, which is intentionally used against them.

The information collected is then used to convince the carrier network that the scammer is the original account holder. After successfully verifying the account holder credentials, carrier firms are bound to act according to the instructions specified by the scammers. Attackers conventionally instruct the carrier network to port the number to a new SIM card, claiming that the original SIM was either lost or damaged.

Once the porting process is completed, the original user will not be able to access the amenities offered by the carrier network as complete SIM card control is transferred to the scammers. All the authentication codes to access bank accounts will now be made available to the attackers, leaving the original user helpless. The SIM card and all the relevant data associated with it are hijacked and used by the attackers to execute fraudulent activities.

What’s at Risk from SIM Swapping?

The risks associated with O2 SIM swap frauds are plenty, as scammers can attack the public image as well as the finances of the victim. The primary motive of every scammer is to gain monetary benefits by gaining private bank account information. Credentials such as bank account numbers, card verification numbers, passwords of financial applications and crypto wallets are often linked with the mobile number of a user.

By directly porting the phone number to a new SIM card, scammers gain complete control of the victim’s bank accounts. Moreover, attackers can also hack into the social media profiles and contact lists of the user. They may try to use the victim’s contact list to extract more personal information from others. Provocative online posts can also be made to damage the public image of a victim in the long run.

How to Spot SIM Swapping Scams?

Thankfully, spotting the signs of Lycamobile SIM swap fraud is relatively easier for alert users. Scammers tend to follow a communication pattern which can be identified upon close inspection. Ensure to consider the following aspects to spot SIM swapping scams:

A. Abrupt Notifications:

In the very early stage of a SIM swapping scam, mobile phone users will receive abrupt updates through calls, emails, and texts, influencing the user to update or avail specific services. The calls and texts sent are from unregistered and unrecognised numbers and accounts. Individuals are recommended to directly connect with their carrier network to find relevant solutions.

B. Abnormal Social Media Posts

Users who already have their SIM details and account information compromised will be able to experience abnormal social media posts created from their accounts. Scammers tend to hack and attack the social media accounts first. Users must then consult with their mobile operators and disable all their social media accounts immediately.

C. Random Monetary Transactions:

Scammers will then try to initiate random monetary transactions by using the bank account credentials of the victim. Keeping track of all your financial transactions, therefore, becomes imperative. Connect with your bank’s customer support team to effectively freeze your bank accounts. Users are encouraged to change all their password details to limit financial losses.

Protective Measures Against SIM Swap Fraud

SIM swap scams can be detrimental to mobile phone users. Therefore, standard protective measures must be adopted by the general audience to limit the damages caused by such fraudulent activities. Ensure to implement the following tips highlighted below:

A. Avoid Entertaining Phishing Texts, Calls, and Emails

The issues concerning scams and phishing have affected millions of people around the world. The internet provides a platform where users can interact with one another and share relevant information. Scammers take advantage of this aspect to effectively execute fraudulent activities.

Attackers initially try to make contact with the general users through phishing emails, calls, and text messages. Users must actively take necessary steps and avoid any such messages throughout. Before connecting with an unknown individual, ensure to conduct a background check and verify the services pitched by the sender. Make sure to block unregistered calls and report emails originating from fake accounts.

B. Share Limited Information on Social Media Platforms

The general public is oblivious to online scams and tends to consider social media platforms to be safe. Therefore, extracting private data from social media pages is relatively easy as sharing personal information is commonly practised by most users.

Users must restrict sharing complete details regarding their name, phone number, address, date of birth, etc., on social media. Individuals also disclose other intricate personal details concerning their pet’s name, favourite food, and family members on these social domains. This information is often used to update security questions established by various online service providers. Share limited updates to maintain complete safety from SIM swap frauds.

Also Read: How to Switch Mobile Providers? Keep Your Number Same

C. Inform both your Bank and Mobile Network

Staying connected with your bank and mobile network service provider will help you find immediate solutions and limit SIM swapping damages. If you receive calls from your mobile operator requesting you to disclose personal information to activate a special service, verify with your mobile network directly to avoid confusion.

Moreover, if you receive updates regarding unauthorised monetary transactions, ensure to connect with your bank to immediately freeze all your accounts. Inform your bank about the issue and work closely with the customer support team to find feasible solutions.

D. Use Unique Passwords

Working with dynamic passwords for every online account is an essential step to maintain complete safety. A common practice among people is to use their birthdate or middle name as a password across all accounts. This habit must be entirely erased as it makes your account susceptible to hacking. 

Instead, individuals must formulate relatively complex and unique passwords for every online account. A combination of alphabets, symbols, and numbers is recommended. Using upper and lower case letters to differentiate between passwords should also be practised. 

People can also seek assistance from external password management applications to record and store password credentials for every independent account. Maintaining a physical copy of all your account details and passwords can also help in the long run.

E. Use Random Answers for Security Questions

Every individual working with online accounts must select a certain set of security questions that act as an alternative solution when the user forgets the exact password combination. These security questions re-confirm and verify our identity, allowing us to access our online accounts.

Selecting the same set of security questions for every online account significantly compromises the security aspect. Thus, people should choose diverse security questions for every online platform they wish to register. Moreover, the questions selected should be customised to add a personal touch such that the answers are only known to the user concerned.

Interesting Read: What is an eSIM & How It Works: Everything You Need To Know


These are some of the foremost aspects related to SIM swap scams that every modern-day smartphone user must acknowledge. The role and assistance offered by a carrier network are critical in limiting damages caused by SIM swapping. Users must, therefore, collaborate with the best carrier firms that not only offer premium amenities but also excel at implementing safety standards.

Choose Talk Home Mobile, the UK’s fastest network, offering the cheapest calling rates, flexible SIM plans, and, most importantly, consistent customer support to resolve queries instantly. Check the official website of Talk Home Mobile to learn more. 


What Does a SIM Swap Do?

SIM swapping is a malpractice where the original phone number of a user is ported into a new SIM card handled by online fraudsters. By completing the SIM swapping process, scammers gain complete access to all account information of general users. This data is then used to extract money out of a user’s bank account. Scammers also tend to attack the public image of a victim by hacking their social media accounts.

What is an example of a SIM swap?

The best and most popular SIM swap example would be of the former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The official Twitter account of Jack Dorsey was hacked when scammers were able to gain complete control of his registered mobile number.

How long will SIM swap take?

SIM swapping conventionally requires 24 hours to process. Users can detect when the process is being initiated, as the original SIM card loses all network signals. Connect with your carrier company to learn more about this aspect.

Can I swap my SIM card to another phone?

Yes, users can freely swap SIM cards between multiple devices. However, if a SIM card is lost and the original user wishes to retain the original phone number, then the process of number porting is initiated.

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