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Beware of Scams that Hijack Cellphone Accounts: The Importance of Authentication for Businesses and Consumers
Consumers use cell phone numbers to authenticate their identities across a variety of accounts, such as those held with wireless providers, financial institutions, healthcare providers, and retail websites. One common example is when a provider sends an SMS (text) message to your phone to verify your identity before completing a transaction.
Two fraudulent practices – Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) swap fraud and Port-out fraud – may enable threat actors to take control of these accounts without gaining physical control of a cellphone and threaten the financial and digital lives of consumers.
On December 8, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Report and Order that will require wireless providers to refine their customer authentication procedures, customer notification policies, and record retention practices to protect customers from fraud schemes.