Here’s a guide on how to prevent and protect yourself against the threat of hackers taking over your phone number and going after your online accounts.
Criminal hackers have been targeting Instagram users with short or unique usernames, as well as people who own Bitcoin. To steal the victim’s accounts or cryptocurrencies, the hackers first seize the cell phone numbers of targets, which gives them the ability to reset passwords on any account linked to a given number.
This kind of hack is what’s called a port out scam—an expression derived from the concept of porting a number from one carrier to another—and is also known as SIM swapping or hijacking.
Ultimately, this hack relies on scammers tricking carrier’s tech support, and if the company’s representatives take the bait, it’s important to remember that there’s only so much you can do.