T-Mobile and Verizon Employees Targeted in Cash Offers for SIM Swap Scheme

SIM swaps are a big security problem. They let bad actors get into your accounts protected by two-factor authentication. Now, there is a new worry: reports say T-Mobile and Verizon workers are being offered money to help with SIM swaps.

But what are SIM swaps exactly? It's when someone tricks your cellphone company into giving them control of your number. Then, all your calls and texts go to the attacker instead of you. This is extra bad when services use texts for security codes.

These swaps often happen because of social tricks, and they can be very easy to do. Tests by Princeton found that the five biggest US carriers don't protect customers well from these attacks. They could easily get the companies to switch numbers to new SIM cards without answering standard security questions.

Another way bad actors try to do SIM swaps is by bribing carrier employees. Reports show that T-Mobile workers all over are getting texts offering cash for doing SIM swaps. The texts ask them to contact the sender through a messaging app. Verizon employees have also received similar texts.

To fight SIM swaps, Verizon offers a Number Lock feature, and T-Mobile has SIM protection. But T-Mobile doesn't stop eSIM transfers on Apple devices. Still, it's good to use these features if you can.

The best way to protect against SIM swaps is to use an authenticator app for two-factor authentication instead of texts. These apps, like Google Authenticator or iOS's built-in authenticator, give you a code you need after entering your password.

Image: DIW-Aigen

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