The SIM highjackers: how criminals are stealing millions by highjacking phone numbers

SIM swappers arrested by Spain, Austria and Romania as police gears up against this growing threat

It is a common story: the signal bars disappears from their mobile phones, they call the phone number – it rings, but it’s not their phone ringing. They try to login to their bank account, but the password fails. They have become the newest victim of SIM swap fraud and their phone number is now in the control of a criminal.

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.

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Source: Europol