SIM Card Swapping and the threat to estates…it’s quick and can be costly. Recently, Good Morning America ran a segment on a swiftly growing form of ID theft known as SIM card swapping. The thief contacts a phone provider, requesting a replacement SIM card of the victim’s phone. With this new chip, they’re able to transfer a person’s phone number to the hacker’s phone. Sometimes they bribe employees to make the change, while other times they simply impersonate someone.
Even with two-factor identification, this is a fast-moving event. The thief can log into any account using phone apps and change credentials. Getting access to accounts takes just minutes. As much as $50 million has been stolen this way the last three years. It’s growing because it’s highly profitable.
For an executor of an estate, this poses an even more frightening possibility.
Managing assets and accounts on a smart phone is a relatively new task for executors. When a person dies, their phone is usually left active while family members either struggle to figure out how to gain access to the apps on it or they put it away, expecting to get to it sometime in the future.
But if a deceased person’s cell phone is hacked, their bank accounts can be drained in minutes. And no one will know where the money went, or how.
Managing devices, apps and accounts of the deceased is a critical piece of protecting their estates. Deleting digital data is just one way to prevent cybercrime from getting in the way of an estate’s administration. It can be done in advance, using Directive Communication System’s platforms.
Or, it can be done after the money’s gone.