SIM Swapping

Stay a step ahead of the scammers. Educate yourself on some of the most common frauds and scams.

What is a SIM swap?

SIM swapping, sometimes called a SIM hijacking attack, occurs when the device tied to a customer’s phone number is fraudulently manipulated. Fraudsters usually employ SIM swapping as a way to receive one-time security codes from banks, cryptocurrency exchanges, and other financial institutions.

How does SIM swapping work?

Fraudsters typically perpetuate SIM hijacks after a customer’s personal information has been obtained via phishing attacks or by purchasing compromised account credentials through dark web marketplaces. Victims of hijacking attacks frequently have their email accounts compromised prior to the SIM change, allowing fraudsters to intercept communications from providers like Verizon. Phishing occurs when criminals send fraudulent requests for personal information to victims, usually posing as a company or government agency.

How to report a SIM swap scam.

If you received a message from Verizon advising that a new SIM card or device was activated on your line and you did not make this request, contact us immediately by dialing *611 from your mobile phone. This is an airtime-free call and will work even if your device has been deactivated. You can also call us by dialing 1-800-922-0204 from any phone. If you need to contact us after regular business hours, Chat With Us and, after logging in, type Live Agent into Verizon Chat Assistant to access 24 HRS live chat support.

How to protect against SIM swap.

Preventing SIM swapping starts with guarding your personal information from hackers. Protect your account by following these best practices for security:

Use strong and unique passwords. Each of your online accounts should have a strong and unique password or passphrase. Resist the temptation to reuse passwords, especially between social media and financial accounts. Always enable two-factor authentication wherever it’s available.  Use a password manager to create and manage complex passwords.

Be suspicious of unsolicited texts, e-mails, and calls, especially those urging you to act immediately and provide personal details. Verizon will never contact you to request any password, PIN, social security number, or payment information.  If you receive a suspicious text message claiming to be from Verizon, please forward it to us right away at S-P-A-M (7726), then delete it.

Give your online security posture an upgrade. If you have been the victim of a SIM hijacking attempt, you should change the passwords for services like your online banking and e-mail immediately.  Use the “security dashboard” of your e-mail provider to look for any suspicious logins from computers or locations you don’t know.  Change your passwords on a regular basis and review your credit report often to check for any unauthorized accounts or inquiries. Review Verizon’s tips for preventing phishing attacks.