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'SIM swapping' cybercrime targets cellphone owners

ABC Arizona

PHOENIX - A Chandler family has become the latest victim of a sophisticated cybercrime known as "SIM swapping.”

It is a relatively new form of identity theft and fraud that allows hackers to gain access to your bank account, credit card numbers and other personal data.

It is tough to spot and even tougher to undo the resulting damage.

The couple, who asked to remain anonymous, first noticed something was wrong when their cell service was turned off. This was followed by an email notification letting them know their password had been "successfully changed."  

After that, they kept getting more emails letting them know their bank password had changed, and that money had been successfully transferred from their account to a Venmo account.

Upon calling T-Mobile, their cell phone carrier, they were informed that someone pretending to be them had called earlier to transfer their cell phone number over to another SIM card. The person had enough information to convince the customer service representative that the caller was the account holder.



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