What is SIM swapping?
SIM swap is a genuine service which allows you to keep your existing phone number and change between different SIM sizes or phone providers.
Fraudsters sometimes take advantage of this
It's becoming increasingly common amongst fraudsters as it can provide them with the ability to utilise your mobile phone number.
This helps them benefit from all the functionality and services your number provides, such as receiving and making phone calls, receiving and sending SMS messages as well as using any provisioned data allowance.
How it could affect you
If a fraudster is in control of your phone number they are able to contact individuals at your cost or at least at a cost to your phone provider.
If you utilise services with any providers who confirm activity, provide security login information or confirm transactions, fraudsters may use SIM swap as a way to intercept these messages, resulting in financial loss.
What you should do and what to look out for
SIM swaps will be conducted by your phone providers either via requests in their shops, on their websites or verbally via their call centres.
Sometimes you will receive SMS messages or email prior to a SIM swap taking place. If you didn't action this request you must contact your bank and phone provider immediately.
A SIM swap completion results in your phone losing signal or becoming unable to make calls, send messages or use data.
Sometimes you may lose signal due to wider issues impacting your phone provider. However if you lose service in a location that is normally good, it is worth considering why that might be and contacting your network provider.