JACKSON — Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley is warning consumers about a recent rise in cellphone scams involving the swapping of SIM cards and theft of funds through cash apps. Presley is urging the consumer to take action to protect their accounts.
The scam activity begins when a criminal contacts a consumer’s cellular provider posing as the accountholder. After doing so, they convince the carrier to deactivate the consumer’s current SIM card and activate a new SIM card. The criminal then activates the new SIM card to block the actual consumer from accessing their own accounts. By doing so, scam artists are then able to access a consumer’s cash apps like Venmo and PayPal to steal money.
Presley advises consumers to make sure they have a PIN code or password set for their account with their cellphone carrier. This adds a layer of security to prevent unauthorized account changes.
Presley also suggests consumers take a minute to review passwords and consider ways to increase security on accounts, including multifactor authentication. Multifactor authentication allows a phone’s user to set up certain apps to require two positive confirmations of the user. An example is a PIN number and a password, or a password and a text message confirmation.
“This is one of the latest ways criminals are trying to prey on hard working Mississippians,” said Presley. “Always be careful with your personal information. Don’t reply to calls, emails, or texts that are asking for your personal details and be careful what you share online.”
If you suspect that you have been the victim of this scam, contact Presley’s office at 1-800-637-7722 to speak with a fraud investigator or contact local law enforcement.