Risks of SIM fraud increase with the arrival of 5G


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Since the launch of 5G services would require some consumers to upgrade SIM cards, experts argue that telcos will need to step up communication warning clients of SIM swap scams as this will enhance the likelihood of such frauds.
In a SIM switch scam, the telecom service provider is approached for a new SIM card on the same number after the fraudsters have obtained information about the consumer through phoney calls, phishing, etc.

Once the SIM card is given out, the customer’s previous SIM is disabled, and the fraudster then receives all new communications sent to the number. This gives the con artist access to data such banking one-time passwords (OTPs), enabling them to defraud the victim of their money.

This might also occur when users click on suspicious links or when their stolen phones are used, giving fraudsters access to OTPs and the ability to remotely copy SIM cards.

In 2016 and 2018, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) published specific protocols and stages for obtaining customers’ express authorization for the distribution of new SIM cards in circumstances of upgrade. According to reports, the department is developing additional rules to secure and speed the procedure.

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