EPIC and NCLC Urge FCC to Hold Carriers Accountable for SIM Swapping and Port-Out Fraud

November 16, 2021

On Monday, EPIC and the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) submitted comments in support of the FCC’s proposals to protect American consumers against fraudsters who wrongly seize their mobile accounts. EPIC and NCLC also urged the Commission to hold carriers responsible for consumers’ fraud-based losses. SIM swapping occurs when a fraudster convinces a mobile carrier to activate a consumer’s account on a phone belonging to the fraudster. Port-out fraud is similar but the fraudster transfers the account to another carrier. In both circumstances, the carrier’s security measures fail to protect the consumer from fraud and can result in further identity theft-related harms. EPIC and NCLC additionally recommended that carriers limit collection of consumer data and limit employee access to the data, even for identity verification purposes, as some consumers would not have been defrauded were it not for employees having access to their information. EPIC routinely participates in regulatory and legislative processes concerning telephone subscriber privacy and tech-facilitated identity theft.

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