Federal Communications Commission Adopts Rules to Protect Consumers' Cell Phone Accounts

The Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules to protect consumers against scams that aim to commandeer their cell phone accounts. The rules will help protect consumers from scammers who target data and personal information by covertly swapping SIM cards to a new device or porting phone numbers to a new carrier without ever gaining physical control of a consumer’s phone. These updated rules will help protect consumers from SIM swapping scams and port-out fraud while maintaining their well-established freedom to pick their preferred device and provider. The Report and Order revises the FCC’s Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) and Local Number Portability rules to require wireless providers to adopt secure methods of authenticating a customer before redirecting a customer’s phone number to a new device or provider. The new rules require wireless providers to immediately notify customers whenever a SIM change or port-out request is made on customers’ accounts, and take additional steps to protect customers from SIM swap and port-out fraud. These new rules set baseline requirements that establish a uniform framework across the mobile wireless industry while giving wireless providers the flexibility to deliver the most advanced and appropriate fraud protection measures available. The FCC is focused on protecting consumers’ data from attacks like these cell phone account scams.

FCC Adopts Rules to Protect Consumers' Cell Phone Accounts