You know that when you fill out a form online for most things a valid phone number is required. Nowadays, that usually means a cell phone number.

If you’re a crypto investor, consider this before your next order.

After a recent spate of SIM-swapping cryptocurrency thefts, experts say it’s more important than ever to keep your mobile phone number secret, CNBC reported.

SIM-swapping is an identity theft technique that enables a hacker to take control of a user’s mobile phone account. After getting control of the phone number, the thief pretends to have forgotten a crypto exchange account password. The exchange sends a text with the password to the hacker and, presto!, he or she gets access to the crypto accounts and cleans them out.

In addition to the mobile number, the hacker may also use personal information purchased on the dark web to trick an unwitting wireless store employee into issuing a SIM card for an account the attacker doesn’t own.

Last week, crypto investor and BitAngels co-founder Michael Terpin, sued his wireless carrier, AT&T, for $224 million after his phone was hacked using a SIM-swapping attack, Reuters reported. 

That’s why cybersecurity experts are emphatically restating the obvious: Investors should “guard their cellphone numbers with the same paranoia with which they guard their social security numbers,” according to the report. If you still have a landline, you might want to use that number. Read more here.

ThirtyK Staff
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