Your SIM card might be at risk
FOLLOW THESE STEPS URGENTLY:
CALL THE BANK
Immediately call your bank, home loan provider and other financial institutions to alert them about potential mobile phone security fraud and to freeze your cards.
You can also freeze your cards via your banking app if you have WiFi access.
Temporarily disable SMS as a password recovery method (or temporarily change the mobile number used) for your online accounts – starting with your email account.
EXPOSE THE FRAUD
If you receive a text saying your number is about to be transferred, or ‘ported out’ to another provider, contact the telecommunications provider that sent the text ASAP and your original provider.
Advise them that you didn’t authorise the transfer. Remember, never click on any message – always call the customer service number directly.
If your phone is still on SOS mode and you don’t receive a signal after moving to a location where you would expect reception, it’s wise to suspect something illegal is happening with your SIM card.
Call your mobile phone provider immediately to see if your number has been ‘ported’ to another provider. Request to have your number back.
Reset all your online passwords (use a password manager for added security and ease).
Replace your compromised SIM card with a new one.
Add a PIN directly with your mobile phone
service provider as part of setting up the new SIM card account.
Consider using a separate phone with a prepaid SIM card for your online accounts so it’s not attached to your main phone number.
Tell family and close friends to watch out for unusual emails and messages that appear to be from you.
Scammers may try to use your account to steal their information or request money from them.
HELP PROTECT OTHERS
Victims of identity theft like illegal phone porting often feel shamed, angry or embarrassed, whether they’ve been careless or just unlucky. They worry about being judged if they report the crime or try to recover losses.
Older Australians are often a more vulnerable group targeted. However, just like any other crime the victim shouldn’t feel embarrassed - they’ve done nothing wrong.
Reluctance to report suspicious activities also contributes to the problem.
Little is known about the attackers, who are usually well-organised crime rings, so reporting these crimes and talking about it with others helps to combat the crime.