If you go to the subreddit thread on T-Mobile, you’ll see posts from customers who have had bad experiences with SIM swap scams the past few years. Finally, the carrier is taking some steps to ensure that their subscribers will not be scammed when they bring their devices in for repairs or other in-store tasks. Changing a T-Mobile SIM card will now require SMS verification through the customer or two employees at the store will need to enter their credentials to verify the change.
The T-Mo Report shares that this new policy has been implemented at T-Mobile stores starting December 14. Basically, managers will no longer be able to trigger overrides for SIM changes. This means that if a SIM swap is going to be made, they will need to verify it through SMS sent to the customer or they will have to enter their credentials along with another employee as part of the verification process. This can make it a bit more difficult but at least more secure as well.
The T-Mobile subreddit has a lot of “horror” stories from subscribers that were victimized by SIM swap scams. Some had their SIM cards changed without their knowledge and in the process, they have lost cryptocurrency and money because their phone number was accessed and received two-factor SMS codes. More often than not, this happened because someone at the T-Mobile store had access to their SIM and swapped it for nefarious purposes
While the FCC required carriers earlier this year to “positively identify a customer” before starting a port-out, this was only useful for those transferring to another carrier. The problem was for those who were sneakily swapping out SIM cards on the same carrier. This new T-Mobile policy will hopefully put a stop to that practice. While support reps over the phone can still initiate a SIM swap, they would now need another person so it should be less easy for them.
It may not be the most convenient process for those working in a T-Mobile store but at least it’s a step towards protecting subscribers. We’ll find out in the subreddit if there will be less SIM swap scams because of this new policy.