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SIM Swap Fraud
SIM swap fraud occurs when a stranger tricks a phone company into sending them a new SIM card for your phone account.
Fraudsters will use a new SIM card to use your mobile phone number so they can access the functionality and services your number provides, including accessing bank accounts and other online accounts. They may also use your phone to make calls or use your data allowance.
If your legal rights have been breached as part of a SIM swap scam, for instance, your phone company bypassed security checks or your bank has failed to make checks before allowing large and/or unusual transactions, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
How JMW Can Help
The data rights department has a strong track record of helping and advising individuals in a wide variety of different situations, and have handled other cases involving this developing legal area.
Our team will call on years of legal experience to guide you towards the best possible result.
What is SIM Swap Fraud?
A fraudster will obtain a SIM card for your phone by convincing a phone company that they are you. This can be done by using information stolen in data leaks or otherwise obtained through criminal activities.
If no sensitive information has been scammed out of you, a fraudster may still be able to convince a phone company into sending out a SIM card without performing all of the necessary security checks.
Once a new SIM card has been activated, your old SIM becomes useless and all of your calls and texts will be directed to the fraudster.
How does SIM Swap Fraud work?
By obtaining a new SIM card, a fraudster can gain access to your bank accounts, as banks will often use text messaging as part of their security procedures. Large purchases or cryptocurrency transactions are then made using your account, with the average victim losing thousands of pounds before they are able to regain control of their phone number.
The first sign of a SIM swap scam is usually the loss of all phone signal, especially in a place you normally have good phone reception. This occurs when the new SIM has been activated and your account is being accessed through a new device, leaving your old SIM card unusable.
Another method used by fraudsters is to bombard your phone with calls and texts. This strategy is designed to make you switch off your phone to avoid the annoyance. Once your phone is switched off, you will have no way of noticing the loss of signal when the SIM is swapped. If your phone is inundated with such calls, it is best to keep your phone switched on until the problem can be remedied.
What To Do If You Suspect a SIM Swap Theft
If you believe SIM swap fraud has occurred, or is occurring, you should take the following steps:
- Contact your phone company to find out if a new SIM has been requested in your name, and if so, cancel it.
- Contact your bank to let them know of the fraud and place a block against any large purchases.
- Change your passwords for all online activity.
- Consider contacting a solicitor who can find out if your legal rights have been breached.
How to Avoid Sim Swap Fraud
Advice to follow to avoid falling victim to a SIM swap scam includes:
- Keeping any online information about yourself to a minimum (for example, not posting your date of birth).
- Finding out what kind of alerts can be set up with your phone provider or bank to notify you of any attempts to access your accounts.
- Using encrypted messaging services, rather than SMS, as authentication for sensitive accounts.
- Checking with your phone provider to see if any new SIM cards have been issued.
If you receive anything suspicious, such as an unexpected text from the bank or an email asking for bank details, contact your bank and phone company on a publically available and secure number immediately.
Talk to Us
If you have been a victim of SIM swap fraud and would like a solicitor to check to see if your legal rights have been breached, get in touch with JMW today. Contact us by calling 0345 872 6666 or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you.