FCC Tries to Combat SIM Swapping and Port-Out Scams

Proposed new rules aim to protect consumers

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is looking to create new policies to protect people from SIM swapping scams and port-out frauds.

The FCC states it has gotten numerous complaints from people who have suffered distress and financial harm from these scams. According to a press release, the organization wants carriers to adopt more secure authentication methods whenever a customer tries to move a phone number to a new device or carrier.

Man on computer scamming

The FCC also wants carriers to notify users immediately whenever a SIM card is changed or a port request is made on a customer’s account.

SIM swapping scams occur when a bad actor convinces a wireless carrier to transfer a victim’s phone service to a new device, granting them the victim’s personal information and other credentials.

A port-out fraud occurs when a bad actor poses as the victim and goes to a carrier to get the company to transfer the target’s service to their own device.

The FCC lists various methods people can use to protect themselves. Among the recommendations is to enable text and email notifications for important accounts so users can see if changes have been made without their knowledge.

Business man protecting phone

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The organization also warns people to not overshare personal information that can be tied to their identity on social media.

Details on what the changes will entail are unknown at this time, and the FCC hasn't said when they will be made as it just started the rule changing process.

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