At SW&A we like to keep our customers and social media followers abreast of the wide range of scams around that could threaten their hard-earned money.
If you own a mobile phone, you need to be aware of sim swap fraud. This scam has led to victims losing thousands, often before they even know anything is wrong, but it is possible many people haven’t heard of it.
Here’s how it works. Fraudsters take control of a mobile phone account through a combination of online stalking and confidence tricks and use those details to get access to the owner’s bank accounts.
Figures from Action Fraud show the number of people falling victim to this type of scam has risen since 2015 when it first came to prominence and that it has resulted in losses of more than £10 million to consumers in the UK. So how can you ensure that your phone, and therefore your bank details, are safe?
Usually someone first becomes aware that they have fallen victim to a sim-swap scam when their phone stops working or they are unable to access bank and credit card accounts. They may also receive a text message or an email before the swap takes place.
As with many frauds in relation to bank security, there are ways to avoid being scammed:
- Don’t respond to unsolicited emails, texts or phone calls. These may allow attackers to access personal data which can then be used to convince the bank that they are you;
- Don’t overshare personal details on social networks. Avoid putting your birth date, that of children or relatives, the name of your first pet or school, as these are all frequently used as the answers to questions that banks ask;
- If your phone stops working normally, inform both your bank and your mobile phone provider;
- Use passwords that only you will know and which are unique.