With the personal information of millions of individuals leaked, it is actually relatively simple for someone to get ahold of not only your email addresses and social media accounts, but also your phone itself.
All it takes is a little charm from a con artist pretending to be you or your significant other and knowledge of some basic personal information, Mic reports.
Customer service agents of carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint typically ask for the last four digits of your social security number to prove your identity. If the hacker has this information, they can get a hold of your phone account, change your SIM, and even change your phone number.
A case in point: DeRay Mckesson’s phone was targeted and hacked last week. A con artist pretending to be him called Verizon and changed his SIM, which blocked his access to his two email addresses, his Twitter, and his phone. His incoming text messages were routed to another phone, even though he had a two-step authentication in place.
This video from Fusion shows how easily impersonating someone to access their phone can be:
Photo credit: Reuters