SIM Swapping Fraud
Recently, due to Covid-19 and travel restrictions, there has been an international increase in e-commerce in all sectors, resulting in an increase of fraud and the ways in which consumers/customers can be deceived.
One of these ways is the SIM Swapping were scammers actually take control of the number/mobile of consumers/customers.
The scammers contact customer’s mobile provider, pretending to be a subscriber and claim that they have lost or damaged the SIM card. Then the provider is asked to activate a new SIM card held by the scammer. In this process, they use data collected by the consumer / customer through phishing, malware, or social media to answer security questions posed by their mobile service provider.
Once the new sim card is activated, the old one, which is in the possession of the legal subscriber, is deactivated and thus all services (calls, SMS, internet access) are received on the device in the possession of the scammer, enabling him to carry out illegal activities in ignorance of legal subscribers. (i.e. receiving calls and messages intended for them, stealing one-time passwords or security verification messages, etc.).
What are the signs that you may be a victim of SIM swapping scam?
It can be difficult to identify such a scam. It is important to recognize warning signs so that you can immediately block access.
- Social media activity that is not yours.
- You can not make calls or send messages. This probably means that fraudsters have turned off the SIM card and are using your phone number.
- You have been notified of strange activity. You will know that you are a victim if your telephone provider notifies you that your SIM card or telephone number has been activated on another device.
- You do not have access to your accounts. If your login credentials no longer work for your accounts like your bank and credit card accounts, you have probably fallen victim to fraud. Contact your bank immediately.
Some helpful tips for dealing with such cases are:
- If you notice any issues or weird features on your mobile, contact your mobile service provider immediately to find out what happened.
- Never reply to messages from strangers and do not provide information about your phone number or account details.
- Do not share with other usernames/passwords/card/account numbers and especially be careful what information you share, much more with strangers, on social media.
- Do not open links or attachments that you receive either via email or through messages from strangers. Be very cautious because often the senders-perpetrators appear to be legitimate businesses.
- If your mobile service provider allows it, set a separate password or PIN for your communications.
- Change passwords often.
- Subscribe to the services of organizations that provide SMS and e-mail notifications when your transactions are performed.
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