On Thursday, Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley warned of rising scams throughout the state in consumers. These include the swapping of SIM cards in phones and theft of funds from cash apps like CashApp and Venmo.
“One of the best ways to protect yourself against these types of scams is to make sure you have a password and a pin code that only you know associated with your cell phone account. So if one of these criminals goes in and tries to swap out the sim card, which is swapping out your phone number, you will get that alert or it’ll stop them from doing it.”
The scam begins with the criminal calling a cellular provider posing as an account holder. They will then use information to convince the provider to deactivate someone’s SIM card and activate it in the criminal’s phone.
From that point, the perpetrator can use that to steal funds from the original consumers cash apps such as PayPal.
Presley is urging consumers to make sure their cellular provider account has a secure PIN or password associated with it.
“We are suggesting everyone contact their phone carrier, set up a unique password for that account, for that particular phone number so that any amendments or any changes are made to that phone account, the person doing that must give that password or PIN code. It’s just double protection.”
If you believe this scam has been performed on you, contact Commissioner Presley’s office at 1-800-637-7722 to speak with a fraud investigator or contact local law enforcement.