Saturday, 29 August 2020

WARNING: Read How Your Phone SIM Card Can Be Cloned By Fraudsters....How you can avoid your accounts being hacked

  SIM card cloning fraud now in vogue, bank customers warned

SIM cloning is the process in which a legitimate SIM card is duplicated by a fraudster and used in a different phone to make transactions while having all calls and associated charges attributed to the original SIM card

The type of scam that is rampant is that which fraudsters call bank customers indicating that they are from the bank and requesting customers to forward their Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card and bank account details.

The code sent by the fraudster is used to clone your SIM card. Once it gets to your phone and it is sent back, automatically they have your SIM card cloned. 

If your SIM is cloned they can have access to your account especially if it is the phone number you registered to receive SMS alert from your bank. 

The only advice to a bank customer is that once they receive a call or message from a phone number they should not stay long on the phone with the caller or delete such a message from their phone. 

Staying long on the phone might result in them accessing vital information they can use to defraud you.

How the fraud is processed – 

Every SIM card has secret codes that enable communication with the mobile phone and the transmitting tower.  Mobile phone operators identify clients’ numbers and do billing procedures using these codes. 

A fraudster can have your number by stealing a SIM card or carrying out a SIM swap for cloning. Most of the currently used SIM cards belong to the COMP128v1 type of algorithm used in making SIM cards. They are very easy to clone.

The fraudsters will use a blank SIM card with no programming on it, SIM firmware device that can read or write the information on blank SIM cards and a card cracker and USB SIM CardReader software as tools for cloning. 

In the case where the SIM card is swapped, the fraudster places a call to the mobile operator and ask them to unlock the SIM card for any possible reason. 

If the operators send the code to the phone number it is received by the bank customer. Then the fraudster calls the customer giving flimsy excuses for the sent code and begs the customer to resend. 

If the customer resends the security code, he writes the SIM in about 10 minutes and enters the security code. He now has every detail of the customer. If the phone number is linked with a bank account, he can access the bank account with ease.

(Elizabeth Adegbesan of Vanguard News)

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