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What Are the Dangers of Losing Your SIM Card?

If your Android's SIM card is lost or stolen, you need to act swiftly. These small pieces of plastic contain a huge amount of your personal data.

In 2017, many American citizens are still unaware that SIM card theft is a booming business. What exactly is a SIM card, you ask? Well, it’s that little removable card with a unique serial number, located in the back of most Android cell phones. On any SIM card, you’ll find a myriad of personal information, including your phone contacts, text messages, and even access to other pertinent data, like your banking details.

Basically, inserting your SIM card into another Android phone would allow someone else to impersonate you. It’s easy access to all of your personal information. Identity theft is a huge concern in these situations, whether you’re dealing with one petty thief or a criminal ring. The following will walk you through the dangers of losing a SIM card.

Read More: How to Properly Dispose of an Old Smartphone

Some Risks Associated with SIM Card Theft

There are many, many alarming scenarios that could unfold if your SIM card falls into the wrong hands. At the tamer end of things, the thief could use the SIM card for his or her own personal use. That means, he or she will be making calls and texts — and you’ll be footing the bill! Phone companies will usually reverse these fraudulent charges for you, but you need to contact them promptly to report your stolen SIM card.

Exploiting premium-rate phone numbers is another strategy used by SIM card thieves. Generally, the criminals control these hotlines’ accounts. Dialling the number itself is perfectly legal, but the phone charges for calling one are tremendous. So, by using your SIM card to phone these premium numbers, the thieves can steal hundreds of your dollars very quickly.

However, SIM card theft can lead to even darker consequences. Recently, in the United Kingdom, there were reported cases of “SIM swap fraud.” SIM swap fraud attacks banking transactions by disabling the security features that protect customers. By using single-use pin codes and text message alerts, this form of theft allows criminals to access and drain funds from their victims’ checking accounts.

The First Step to Take if Your SIM Card Disappears

If your SIM card becomes lost or stolen, call your phone company immediately, or visit their nearest outlet. They will need to cancel your SIM card at once so it can’t be used for malicious purposes. Not acting in time could be extremely costly, and the devastation can’t always be reversed. After you cancel your card, you can then get a new SIM card.