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News: What to do if you are a victim of SIM-swap fraud

News: What to do if you are a victim of SIM-swap fraud

South African mobile users must remain wary of fraudulent SIM swaps, which could expose their personal and banking information to criminals, My Broadband reported.

According to SABRIC’s Annual Crime Stats for 2019, fraudulent SIM swaps were involved in around 13,300 reported digital banking fraud incidents across online and mobile banking, and banking apps.

This is an increase of over 2,000 – or 16% – compared with 2018.

By using phished details, criminals are able to take control of a victim’s mobile number so that they receive SMSs sent by the bank to the client.

South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) CEO Nischal Mewalall explained how this provided extensive access to a user’s banking profile.

For example, if a SIM swap victim uses their phone number as an authentication method or backup communication channel for recovering login credentials on online platforms or email services, the perpetrators could use the number to change passwords and gain access to such accounts.

What to do

  • The clearest indicator that a fraudulent SIM swap was performed on your number is an unexplained loss of network reception, the operators told MyBroadband.
  • “If you can’t make or receive calls, you should not assume there is a problem with the network or handset,” a Vodacom spokesperson warned.
  • If confirmed, it is important that you notify your bank and contact your mobile operator immediately to port the number back to your SIM.
  • It is also advisable to remove or change the backup authentication number on any online accounts you may have.
  • Mewalall advised customers to act pre-emptively when they suspect they responded to a phishing mail, SMS or voice call, change their Internet banking credentials immediately and notify their bank.

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