Two women seated holding phones with black screen facing up

Introduction: What Is Phone Porting and How Does It Work?

Hey there, boss ladies! We know you’re busy running your successful empires, but we’ve got some critical cyber security news that you need to hear. A sneaky scam called “phone porting” is making the rounds, and it could seriously impact the cyber safety of your business and personal life.

So, how exactly do these scammers pull off this heist? After obtaining your phone number (and sometimes additional personal info), they contact your mobile service provider pretending to be you. They’ll then request to “port” your number to a new device—usually one they control.

Once they’ve successfully transferred your number, they can intercept text messages and calls and bypass two-factor authentication. That means they can access your bank accounts, social media profiles, and more. Yikes!

But fear not, fabulous entrepreneurs! We’re here to break down this complex issue into bite-sized, easy-to-understand pieces, so you can stay informed and keep your businesses safe. Let’s dive in!

The Terrifying Truth: How Phone Porting Affects Entrepreneurs

As if running a business needed to be more challenging, phone porting scams can add an extra layer of stress and uncertainty. These invisible thieves target busy business owners like ourselves, knowing that we rely on our phones for everything from client communication to managing our finances.

When your phone number is ported, you could lose access to crucial accounts, face major privacy breaches, and even suffer financial losses. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Real-Life Horror Stories: Entrepreneurs Hit by Phone Porting

If you think this scam can’t happen to you, think again. Female entrepreneurs from all walks of life have fallen victim to phone porting scams, losing thousands of dollars and experiencing significant business disruptions.

Take Prue, a tech-savvy business owner who lost control of her phone and sensitive personal data when her number was ported. Or Claire, a busy mompreneur who saw her phone signal switch to “SOS” just as she was picking up her kids from school. These real-life examples prove that nobody is immune to this scam.

The Shocking Stats: Just How Bad Is It?

Sim porting ranks as the third most common scam this year, according to Scamwatch. In the first quarter alone, Australians lost over $5 million to identity theft. On average, victims lose a whopping $28,000 to these scams, as reported by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Two-Factor Authentication: A Double-Edged Sword

You might be thinking, “But I have two-factor authentication on my accounts!” Unfortunately, that doesn’t make you immune to this scam. In fact, it can even work against you.

Criminals can change or authorize online banking transactions without your knowledge once they receive SMS authentication codes. This is possible because two-factor authentication, the most common method of identity verification, sends a code to your mobile number—which the scammers now control.

Stricter Laws: Are They Enough?

In response to this growing threat, stricter legislation has been introduced to prevent sim porting. However, cyber experts suggest that more safeguards are needed to truly protect us from these invisible thieves.

Though mobile transferring fraud has decreased since new rules were introduced, scammers can still bypass the telco ID process in some cases. Cybersecurity expert Ronnie Lowe believes that the measures are insufficient and that there’s little people can do to prevent a sim-porting attack.

Cyber Safety 101: How to Protect Yourself from Phone Porting

Now that we’ve got your attention let’s talk about what you can do to protect yourself and your business from phone porting scams. Here are some top tips for staying ahead of the game:

  1. Limit personal info on social media: Keep your birthday, phone number, and address private to make it harder for scammers to target you.
  2. Use strong, unique passwords: Don’t be that person who uses the same password for everything! Mix it up to minimize the risk of unauthorized access to your accounts.
  3. Enable additional security features: Many banks and service providers offer extra security options like Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) via authentication app rather than text message, voice recognition or biometric authentication. Take advantage of these to keep your accounts safe.

Stay Informed, Stay Safe: Your Call to Action

In conclusion, staying informed about cyber safety and cyber security is crucial for keeping businesses safe in today’s digital world. By understanding the dangers of phone porting scams and taking proactive steps to safeguard your empire, you can ensure that you continue to thrive as the boss lady you are. Remember to limit personal info on social media, use strong, unique passwords, and enable additional security features to protect yourself and your business from these malicious scammers. Stay vigilant, stay informed, and most importantly, stay fabulous!

Becky Duncan