SIM Swap Fraud: A Rising Concern in the UK

Technological advancement in mobile has transformed the convenience quotient for people, especially in the payments and financial space. More people are increasingly transacting via mobile banking. As per data experts Caci, 25 million people in the UK, i.e., approximately half the country, are using mobile for banking activities. However, there is a flip side to this convenience quotient—fraud. The number of fraud cases has consistently increased over the past few years. As per the City of London Police, over 453,495 reports were filed over the past 13 months, resulting in financial losses to the tune of £2.4 billion through fraud and cybercrimes. One of the fraud techniques that has particularly stood out is ‘SIM swapping.’

How Scammers Carry Out SIM Swap Fraud

SIM swapping, also known as ‘SIM splitting’ or ‘SIM jacking,’ is a fraudulent activity through which a fraudster takes complete control of users’ phone accounts by either porting or cloning their SIM without their knowledge. First, scammers trick victims into divulging personal information about themselves and then socially engineer customer service representatives to take over those victims’ phone numbers by having them transfer the number to a SIM card in their possession. Once they’ve done this successfully, the fraudster has complete control over the unsuspecting victim’s phone number, allowing them full access to the victim’s accounts.

Though the instances of SIM swap have been rising globally, the UK has seen an increasing number of SIM swap cases over the past few years. 

Over the years, telecom service providers have implemented several safeguards to prevent mobile-related fraud. However, fighting sophisticated SIM card-related fraud requires leveraging the power of mobile intelligence. Enterprises with SIM swap detection technology may have visibility into the fact that a SIM swap has occurred. However, they cannot see when the event took place, which is a major factor in differentiating fraud from a legitimate transaction. Since many SIM swaps are legitimate, enterprises do not want to slow down the experience for customers who may have legitimately ported their numbers or upgraded their devices.

Tackling SIM Swap Fraud

What is required to address SIM swap fraud is a risk model that analyzes device and phone number-related attributes from authoritative sources at the time of a transaction and indicates the level of risk.

The good news is that this issue can be resolved with Trust Score™, a real-time measure of a phone number’s reputation. This uses behavioral and phone intelligence signals to measure fraud risk and identity confidence. 

The other advantage is that enterprises can offer a more seamless experience to legitimate users. One of the main complaints that consumers have about accessing online services is that proving their identities through passwords, knowledge-based authentication, and SMS one-time passcodes is a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Thus, to boost online transactions, companies will have to overcome this trade-off by using advanced analytics that can make logging into online accounts as easy for real users and impossible for scammers.

This article is a synopsis of a full-length article originally published by Prove.