Learn about “sim swap fraud”, so you can avoid it

This new fraud technique can cause terrible damage to victims. Here’s how it happens:

“SIM Swap is the process of replacing your mobile’s existing SIM card with a new one. SIM swapping is often useful, letting you to keep your existing mobile number when you change to a handset requiring a different SIM card type. However, financially-motivated criminals have found a loophole in this process.

Armed with a mobile phone and a blank SIM card, attackers pretend to be the victim when they contact the victim’s telecommunication provider saying the mobile has been stolen. The plan is to get the operator to cancel the existing SIM card, on the victim’s phone, and activate the new SIM on the criminal’s phone.

The window of opportunity starts to close as soon as the SIM Swap victim notices that his/her mobile is no longer working and raises the alarm.

Once texts and calls are rerouted to the fraudster’s handset, the criminals work quickly to reset passwords, locking the victim out of his/her accounts, before authorising bank transactions or securing loans in the victim’s name.”

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