Jack Monroe – “I’m a victim of SIM swap”

16th October 2019 Media Law

Over the last week or so SIM swaps have been widely reported in the media. At the heart of these stories is an individual or family who have lost money and been caused serious distress and inconvenience.

More recently, the food writer Jack Monroe tweeted that she had been a victim of SIM swap and £5,000 had been taken from her bank account. She has said:

I am living in a literal nightmare right now. My phone number has been stolen”

the insecurity, violation, bouncing bills triggering bad things.”

They have taken about 5k from what I can ascertain.”

Ms Monroe is not alone. According to figures released under a Freedom of Information Act request, the City of London Police received 252 complaints about SIM swap scams last year.

So what is a SIM swap scam?

In a nutshell, a fraudster will contact your mobile phone company pretending to be you, obtain a new SIM card and ask that your phone account is moved to the new SIM card. The first the victim will know is usually when the phone signal on their phone is lost, but victims often put that down to being in a poor signal area.

When the fraudster has full functionality of the mobile phone, the damage that can be done is significant. This can include money being taken from bank accounts, social media accounts being taken over, and passwords changed. The fraudsters can even intercept text messages that are being sent to authenticate accounts.

Are there any legal options? If you’ve been a victim of SIM swap, it may be possible to claim compensation on a “no win no fee basis”. If you would like to discuss your case please contact Dominic Walker in JMW’s Data Law team on 0345 872 6666 or dominic.walker@jmw.co.uk.

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Dominic Walker is a Solicitor located in Manchesterin our Media Law department

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