A news release from Europol on 13 March was concerned with “SIM swapping”. It explains that SIM swap fraud is committed when a fraudster dupes the victim’s mobile phone operator into porting the victim’s mobile number to a SIM in the possession of the fraudster and so starts receiving any incoming calls and text messages, including banking one-time-passwords which are sent to the victim’s phone number. The fraudster can then perform transactions, using credentials gathered by other techniques such as malware, and when the bank sends a one-time-password via SMS, the fraudster receives it and completes the authorisation of the transaction. It goes on to say that police across Europe has been gearing up against this threat, with 2 operations targeting SIM highjackers coming recently to fruition – in Spain and in Romania/Austria. Finally, the news release provides some tips on how to avoid being a victim of this type of fraud.
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