Many people ask that “my phone number was hacked how do I fix it?” Do you believe your accounts are secure now that you’ve set up strong passwords and two-factor authentication? Consider again. There’s still a lot of work to be accomplished.
For the essential digits in your life, you may assume your Social Security or bank account numbers are the most important. Nowadays, hackers may impose significantly more harm with simply your mobile phone number. You’re less likely to keep your mobile phone number a secret than you are to keep your SSN private.
Every mobile phone number, regardless of carrier, may be a target for cybercriminals. And it doesn’t take a lot of work to ruin your internet reputation.
Your mobile phone number is the only way for someone to access your information. Consider the possibilities. You often utilize your mobile phone number. It’s what you use to join up for websites and services, and it’s also what you use to log into apps and games on your smartphone or other mobile devices.
If you lose your password, you may reset your account using your phone number. Using two-factor authentication ensures that only you can access the accounts you want to.
The person who takes your phone number is, in effect, you. If a hacker has your phone number, they may send a password reset request to your phone and take over your accounts one by one.
They can fool automated systems, such as your bank, into believing they are you when you phone customer support. Furthermore, they may use the stolen phone number to access your business email and documents, which might put your company in jeopardy.
Think about all the websites and services that have your phone number. Your phone number should be protected because of this.
How Do Hackers Steal Your Phone Numbers?
It’s far simpler than you may expect. Because of so many data breaches, phone numbers can discover almost everywhere.
Most of the time, hackers will use an imitation to contact a carrier pretending to be the target’s mobile phone number that they’ve found on the internet. Using a few easy inquiries, such as where a person resides or their date of birth, they ask the customer support professional to “port-out” the phone number to a new carrier or a SIM card.
As soon as the “port out” process is completed, the hacker’s SIM card is activated, allowing the hacker to send and receive data and make calls as if they were the person they just attacked.
Cell phone service unexpectedly goes off for no obvious cause in many situations.
As a result, password resets on accounts linked to that phone number are all that is required. And that’s only the beginning. When someone hacked my phone, it means a hacker may use it to steal Bitcoin, hijack my Instagram login, or intentionally erase all of my data.
Phone numbers and accounts that have been breached might be hard to obtain back, even in the worst circumstances. Keeping it from happening in the first place is your best option.
How Hackers Can Use Your Phone Number?
Rerouting Your Texts And Calls:
Your mobile phone provider has protocols in place that prevent fraudsters from tampering with your account information. Hackers, on the other hand, have figured out how to redirect your phone number.
Phone Hackers pretend to be you when they call your phone service provider pretending to be you. Passing security checks is easier for them if they have your personal information.
To get your phone calls and messages, they ask the corporation to forward them to them. All communications intended for you will capture by the scammer once the rerouting is complete. They may take over your online accounts by choosing “forgot password” and using the password reset link supplied to their phone.
Another variation of this scam asks you to provide them a code to “check” your identity while you are trying to sell anything. As a result, you will get a verification code, which the fraudster will use to hijack your phone number.
Steal Your Personal Information:
It’s not uncommon for people to keep the same phone number for many lives. In other words, fraudsters may find out a great deal more about you if they get their hands on your phone number.
The Whitepages reverse phone search tool is used by scammers to discover your phone number. Once they get your phone number, they search online to see if there is any more information that links to it. It may contain information from other internet accounts, and your home and birth information.
To steal your identity, or to build social engineering assaults that you’re more likely to fall for, they utilize this information.
SIM Swapping Or Jacking:
Fraudsters use your cell carrier’s “porting” option to acquire access to your phone number via SIM changing. When you switch cell phone providers, you may have your data protected by using a technology called porting. On the other hand, scammers may use the system to take over your phone number when you switch to a new phone.
Scammers pretend to be you when they contact your phone provider and ask for your number to be “ported out.” Your phone number is transferred to the hacker’s SIM card by the business.
If the hacker has access to your phone number, he or she may not only read but also send and receive messages on your behalf.
Text Scams And Spyware:
It is becoming more and more popular for hackers to utilize text message scams, also known as smishing, in an attempt to deceive victims into divulging personal information or installing malware onto their devices.
Scammers send phishing SMS messages pretending to be from well-known companies. Phishing websites or phone numbers might be found in the messages. The hacker will try to steal your personal information if you participate with either of the two options.
Viruses may be downloaded by clicking on fraudulent links in alternative text scams. Your phone will be infected with spyware if you click on the link. This malware enables hackers to read your text messages and access your internet accounts.
When someone posts someone else’s personal information online, it’s known as “Doxxing.” Rival hackers would “dump documents” in the 1990s to disclose the genuine identity of a target.
It may lead to harassment, fraud, and other violations of privacy today. Using your phone number, a hacker may get access to your personal information and post it on open platforms like social media.
Doxxing may take place on the Dark Web when hackers dump the personal information of tens of thousands (or perhaps millions) of individuals after a data breach. Hackers can harass or steal your identity or access your internet accounts once they have your personal information.
Blackmail Using Your Sensitive Data:
In other cases, fraudsters may utilize your cell phone number to demand money in exchange for your silence. Threatening to expose images and videos until you pay a ransom is an option if they get their hands on your private information.
Scammers use a people search engine like Fast People Search to look for your phone number and other personal details.
They might also get access to your iCloud and other picture storage services if they know your phone number. Once fraudsters get their hands on your personal information, they begin to blackmail you for money.
The only way to tell whether they’ll go through with their bluff is to wait and see. However, if you fail to make a payment, the fraudster may publish or sell your details on the Dark Web.
Spoofing Caller ID Numbers:
To fool the receiver into thinking the caller ID is legitimate, hackers alter the caller ID shown on the recipient’s phone. A fraudster can use your caller ID to pretend to be from the “IRS” or the “FBI.”
Your phone rings, and it’s from a well-known company or government agency, such as the IRS. When you pick up the phone to talk to the person on the other end, you end yourself conversing with a scammer.
The scammer pretends to be a government official and tells you about an urgent problem. A common scam is to tell people they need to “confirm” their Social Security Number (SSN) to safeguard it against fraudsters.
Fake callers will try to persuade you to provide personal data or make an online credit card payment through the telephone.
Preying On Your Family:
Hackers can target your loved ones instead of you if they know your phone number. Your phone number is used to deceive loved ones into providing personal information or wire money to scammers. Someone can take control of your phone number by using a SIM swap or account takeover.
A family member is contacted and told that the scammer needs help paying for an emergency. For example, they might claim that they have been injured or imprisoned and require money to pay for medical care or bail.
Your family member may wire money to you to help you (and because they are afraid for your safety) without realizing that the money is being sent to a scammer.
How To Secure Your Phone Number Against Hackers?
Your phone number is all that a hacker needs to steal your identity, reputation, and financial assets. However, with a few simple measures, you can protect your phone number from fraudsters. Make it harder for cyber crooks to steal your phone number by following these tips:
Use Two-Factor Or Multifactor Authentication (2FA/MFA):
Two-factor authentication (2FA) uses to safeguard your accounts. A backup password may add to your account by contacting your phone carrier’s customer care department and requesting it. In this manner, only you can make adjustments or transfer your cell phone number.
Lock Your SIM:
To prevent fraudsters from stealing your phone’s SIM card, you need to activate a sim lock. Additional PINs are required to make changes or utilize your number. Contact your mobile provider or put up a PIN on your iPhone or other iOS devices directly.
Use a password manager to keep your devices safe against SIM swaps and other phone frauds. Using a password manager instead of relying on your phone number to circumvent 2FA makes it far more difficult for hackers to compromise your account.
Avoid Clicking Links From Unknown Senders:
Refrain from clicking on any links in text messages or emails you get from somebody you don’t know. Log into the service directly, not via the given link, if you get a notice about a missing delivery or see a message in your online account. Always verify that the sender is trustworthy and real by doing a thorough investigation.
Ignore One-Ring Phone Scams:
Scammers are trying to convince you to call them. One method they’ve learned to achieve that is by contacting you from a faked number and then immediately hanging up on you. Don’t allow your curiosity to get the best of you if this occurs to you. Avoid returning the call and instead put a hold on the phone number.
Never Call Back A Number From An Unsolicited Text:
An odd text message that asks you to contact a phone number is not something you should take seriously and should be ignored. Do not be fooled into handing up your personal information by these phone callers.
Get Fraud Monitoring:
Checking your bank accounts, cards, and credit reports for unusual behavior is done through fraud and credit monitoring services. It will notify you immediately if fraudsters have gained access to your bank account through your phone. It gives you plenty of time to stop them.
Keep Your Phone Safe In Public:
Scammers may easily obtain your phone number if they can get their hands on your phone. By stealing your phone they shall be able to access all your accounts, block your email, and take control of your phone.
Set up biometric security measures like fingerprint ID to protect your phone if it’s stolen, and always keep your phone in view.
Install Antivirus Software:
Antivirus software may use on both mobile and desktop computers. Anti-malware solutions prevent hackers from accessing your personal information or stealing your phone number by blocking bad code or malware.
Always check to see whether the websites you are visiting are legitimate. Changing one letter or number of a webpage URL may be used by hackers to construct false websites.
Sites like this may seem just like legitimate service providers, such as your bank, and if you’re not careful, you might trick into disclosing personal information like your phone number or account password.
Shred Old Documents:
Don’t get rid of anything that might use to identify you, such as your phone number. Make sure the files are destroyed by shredding or burning them.
It doesn’t matter whether you have an iPhone or an Android phone since hackers don’t care. It takes nothing more than your phone number to steal your personal information and any money you have in your account.
The more clever hackers get, the essential it becomes to take precautions to protect your devices, money, and identity. Your SIM card should be locked with a PIN and you should avoid giving out your phone number to too many people.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Who Could Hack Your Mobile Device?
Anybody may have hacked a phone of yours at any time. An untrustworthy business partner, a data-gathering hacker, or even a naughty friend might be the culprits. Hacking someone’s phone may be done for a variety of different purposes.
Can A Hacker Access Your Email Without A Password?
Your phone number may redirect to the hacker’s phone. The hacker will then be able to access your email account. They don’t have access to your password, but that’s not a problem.
Hackers May Take Your Details Without Your Phone?
It’s no secret that hackers may acquire your personal information even if they don’t have physical access to your phone. They have remote access to all of the information kept there. If you aren’t diligent enough and well-protected, your passwords, SSNs, bank account data, text messages, and images may all get into the hands of the bad guys.