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What is a SIM swap scam?

by | Sep 24, 2019 | Archived Articles

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What is a SIM swap scam?

A SIM swap scam is a type of identify theft whereby attackers are attempting to gain access to their targets mobile phone communications and if successful gain a new SIM in the name of the victim. They will collect as much information about the victim and then call up the victims mobile phone provider claiming they have lost their SIM card and due to their research are able to pass security. With the ultimate aim to then target the victims bank account to steal their money.

How do attackers gain access?

Usually from sending out phishing email scams which contain malicious links and bogus login details and social engineering, where the criminal studies your social media activity.

The process

  1. Information on the victim is gathered.
  2. The criminal calls up the victims mobile provider, pretending to be them and claim they have lost their SIM card.
  3. Because of the research they have gathered they are able to pass security questions and the customer services provider activates the SIM card or mobile number in their possession.
  4. If successful, attackers target the victims bank accounts.
  5. When trying to access bank accounts it is common that verification codes are sent to your phone which is where a criminal can access your bank accounts and therefore commit fraud and steal your money.

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The criminal will create an account under the victims name to avoid masses of security checks and enable them to transfer money as if the victim was sending money to another personal saving account.

Often you’ll only find out an attack has taken place when you attempt to place a call or send a text and it fails but thankfully banks are able to identify fraudsters and the banking industry prevents 70% of all fraud (financialfraudaction). So if you haven’t realised yet, there is a good chance your bank has.

Being aware is the key and knowing that fraudulent crimes of this nature take place puts the ball back in your court.

Read our blogs to to help protect yourself and prevent criminals from using your personal information against you.