Explainer: How to know if your simcard is a target for sim Swap

The rapid rise of SIM card-changing frauds provoked public outcry as more and more victims of the scam witnessed scammers stealing bank accounts and speaking out the day after the Nation revealed.
Widespread financial fraud is aimed at shifting control of the victim’s mobile account from his or her SIM card to the controller.

Registrars want three major telecommunications companies – Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom – to strengthen authentication and security measures governing the registration and replacement of mobile phone numbers.

What is a Sim Swap?

Sim exchange occurs when someone steals your personal phone number and takes away your identity. This greatly facilitates such a person accessing most of your personal data including email, social networking accounts and bank accounts through mobile apps.

The fraudster will often access this information by capturing verification codes that should be sent to your device.

In this way, hackers can delete your bank accounts, withdraw money, take out loans, and even use your e-mail to retrieve family and friends contacts.

How would you know your Sim is a target for Sim swap?

Lack of mobile phone service despite good internet access may be an indication of the ongoing Sim simulation. Additionally, being locked out of your phone’s online accounts or mobile banking apps may be an indication that the Sim exchange is ongoing and / or already complete.

Getting phone notifications or hints of things that you do not allow or request can also be caused by SIM exchange. Receiving incoming calls, especially from foreign numbers, can also be an indication of an upcoming Sim exchange.

Callers want you to turn off your phone and thus complete the Sim exchange successfully.

If you notice any of these indicators, it is time to tell your phone provider and let them know that you have not requested any changes.

It is also important to contact your bank and confirm transactions and investigate any suspicious transactions or transactions that you do not initiate.

How to Prevent SIM Swap

1) Limit the personal information you share online.

Scammers often track our digital identities and choose the best information to convince your mobile service provider that you are the one. Avoid posting your full name, address, phone number and date of birth in a public place. Also, do not share details of your personal life on social networks. Aside from the internet, great care should be taken before leaving ID numbers and mobile phone numbers in public places as this information can be provided by hackers, often left at security checkpoints in the building, in an attempt to do business. of Sims.

2) Use strong passwords and security questions.

Always use a password that is difficult for anyone to guess, including your closest friends. It is recommended that the password be 12 characters or more to protect the online account of your mobile phone as well as of other mobile apps such as mobile banking apps. If possible, use questions that are unique to you.

3) For mobile banking applications, use face and touch authentication when possible.

Before installing sensitive software such as the mobile banking software, ask vendors if they have a bi-two biometric system for identification and use both components when accessing the software. For example, use fingerprints and face recognition features when using a mobile banking app.

4) Beware of fraudulent emails, text and phone calls. Beware of fraudsters who pretend to be employees from your phone provider or reputable financial institutions who want to get personal information from you. Call immediately and report the number to the relevant authorities.