How does it happen?
Current laws make it easy for criminals
Australian law requires only a date of birth and a customer name to transfer or ‘port’ a mobile phone number to a new provider. Think about it – your date of birth and mobile number are often visible on social media and other places, making it easy for thieves to commit this crime.
You're always being watched
Thieves have probably been collecting information about you through social media, phishing emails,
texts, tracking malware, or even stealing from your letterbox, long before they try to port your phone. Many people proactively advertise their information and activities to strangers to gain social popularity (Furnell and Botha 2011) – overestimating the effectiveness of electronic identity theft countermeasures.
Security theft starts with your mail
An account number can be stolen by tricking employees of mobile phone providers.
'Social engineering' includes finding out your details through online phishing attacks - or by simply physically stealing mail from your letterbox.
The data needed to request a phone port is a low barrier for savvy identity thieves.
Your phone is an easy target
Your mobile phone stores so much of your personal identity and connects criminals directly to your text messages and then your accounts. It’s a playground for criminals as soon as they get their hands on your phone number.