Telus-owned Public Mobile announced on Wednesday customers now need an extra security step in order to change their SIM card number, in the form of 2-factor authentication.
Starting today, July 14, 2021, Public Mobile says users must enter a one-time security code received via text message or email, to change their SIM card number online in My Account.
The move is to thwart the cases of SIM swap fraud, which Public Mobile says is criminals trying to “gain unauthorized access to customer accounts with the goal of accessing banking information.” In a nutshell, fraudsters swap your SIM card with their own, allowing all recovery SMS and phone calls to direct to their number, instead of yours. This can allow for access to your online accounts such as social media, email and more.
Users that are victims of SIM swap fraud will see their cell signal suddenly stop working, as criminals replace your SIM card number with their own, terminating your connection.
How to protect yourself from SIM swap fraud? Use a password manager such as 1Password (our password manager of choice) to create unique passwords for all your accounts, plus stop sharing everything about your life online. Fraudsters typically use social engineering to gain access to your account, thanks to the free information people dole out on social networks.
All wireless carriers should implement 2-factor for SIM card changes and it’s good to see Public Mobile adding this feature here.
Yesterday, Public Mobile said they were dealing with issues related to activating new SIM cards, which was eventually resolved.