“SIM swapping,” also called “SIM hijacking,” is an increasing crime. A SIM card, or Subscriber Identity Module, authenticates a cell phone user’s account and enables connection to a carrier’s network.

An unauthorized SIM swap occurs when a mobile carrier, such as T-Mobile, Verizon, or AT&T, transfers a customer’s phone service to an unauthorized person. This intruder then receives all calls and texts intended for the victim, including one-time two-factor authentication (2FA) codes from cryptocurrency platforms like Coinbase, Crypto.com, or Binance. With these codes, the unauthorized person can access and steal the victim’s cryptocurrency.

These schemes expose cryptocurrency owners to significant risk. Without the information provided by mobile carriers, unauthorized third parties would not access customers’ personal and financial data. 

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