You hear more and more about the theft of money from bank accounts. Recently, there has been a lot of news about the BLIK scam , and criminals have already found another way. This time they use a duplicate SIM card for scams.
In the case of this method, persons whose data is in public registers, such as the National Court Register, are the most vulnerable to theft. The fraudster, in addition to the SIM card and hence the victim’s phone number, also needs his PESEL number. How does the new scam method work and how to protect yourself from theft of money from your account?
What is the new scam method?
Fraudsters do a very thorough interview about their victim, gathering information about him on the Internet. The main key to crime is the SIM card. The thieves go to the mobile operator’s service point where the potential victim has a registered number. There, using a false ID or notarial certificate, they make a duplicate of the SIM card.
Then they obtain the login and password for the victim’s online banking. For this purpose, they use phishing or malware that infects the computer. In this way, they gain the information you provide when logging into online banking. And from here one step to steal money from your account. Having a SIM card, they use the victim’s phone number to access their account and make transfers to their account – thanks to the codes received by SMS they can authorize or authenticate banking operations.
Case of theft of money from a bank account using a duplicate SIM card in Ostrów Wielkopolski:
On July 2, 2019, using duplicate SIM cards and via the Internet, members of an organized criminal group broke the security of one of the banks’ networks and made several unauthorized withdrawals of funds from accounts of economic entities from southern Greater Poland in the amount of over PLN 718,000. zł. Then, with the help of this money, they paid 14 gold bars ordered the day before, which they collected the same day in the Śląskie Voivodeship.
The criminals were perfectly organized, they had professional computer equipment with mobile internet access, fake IDs, they used duplicate SIM cards, they traveled with vehicles with counterfeit license plates.
Source: National Prosecutor’s Office
What is the bank’s responsibility for stealing money from the account?
In the case of this fraud, both telecommunications operators and banks are liable to each other. The Office of Electronic Communications pointed to taking anti-fraud measures.
Telecommunications companies do not want to change the rules for issuing duplicate SIM cards. They argue that the scale of fraud is small and that additional safeguards would hinder the process of granting SIM duplicates. In addition, the card alone will not allow theft of funds. You need login details to do this. And here is the bank’s responsibility for theft from the money account. According to mobile operators, it is the banks that are responsible for the security of clients’ financial resources. Therefore, they should detect frauds more efficiently and faster because then the number of fraudulent transactions would be smaller.
As you can see, until top-down guidelines are introduced, you need to take care of your own safety. How to do it? What should you be careful not to get fooled?
How to protect yourself from theft of money from your account?
You can read about how to use an electronic account so as not to simplify the task of fraudsters and not expose yourself to the theft of money from your account – How to use online banking safely . In addition to the rules contained herein, implement the following precautions to protect yourself against a duplicate SIM card attack :
- do not share your phone number on social networking sites,
- set notifications about logging in and transactions on your bank account,
- be vigilant and when your SIM card suddenly stops working, contact your bank and operator immediately – it may turn out that at that time the criminal used a duplicate of your SIM card and is just robbing you of your money,
- react immediately if you discover that you have become a victim of scammers – immediately inform the bank and file a police notification about the theft of money from your account.