Temporary loss of your mobile phone can be a big inconvenience but loss of your phone number to scammers can be much worse.
If you’d lost the phone, you would call the phone company or visit on of their shops and explain to the assistant that you need a new phone and your contract etc. transferred to that new phone.
The Sim Swap fraud makes use of a mobile phone service provider’s ability to easily transfer a telephone number to a device containing a different sim card.
The scam begins with a scammer collecting personal details about the victim, either by use of phishing emails, by buying the information from other criminals.
The scammer then contacts the victim’s mobile telephone provider and uses the information they have to convince the telephone company to transfer the victim’s phone number to the fraudster’s SIM. This usually means impersonating the victim using personal details to appear authentic and claiming that they have lost their phone.
More and more people and businesses rely on mobile phones for proof of identity. e.g. your bank may send you security numbers to type into your account to prove your ID but if scammers can access your phone and read your messages, they are in control.
So, if the scammers get your calls and texts sent to them instead, they can use the forgotten password option on many accounts to have new password sent to them and you wont know any of this is going on..
They may gain access to your bank account, retail accounts etc.
If a scammer attempts this fraud, you may receive SMS messages or email prior to a SIM swap taking place. If you didn’t action this request you must contact your bank and phone provider immediately.
If the scammer successfully transfers your number to their phone, then your phone may lose signal or become unable to make calls, send messages or use data. Report this immediately.
If you have any experience with this sim swap scam, do let me know, by email.