Vodacom has noted that SIM swop fraud attempts are on the increase.

Fraudsters who engage in SIM swap fraud are posing as cellphone company representatives to try and trick unsuspecting customers who end up being victims of Internet banking fraud.

SIM swop fraud is a technique used by fraudsters to defraud unsuspecting internet banking users. Once they have acquired the victim’s banking details and other personal information through phishing scams, the fraudsters then call the network operator posing as the customer and request a SIM swop.

This will cancel the customer’s SIM connection and the fraudsters will have access to the customer’s cellphone line, enabling them to receive the customer’s one time internet banking password and to perform fraudulent Internet banking transactions.

In order to protect customers from SIM swop fraud, Vodacom notifies customers via SMS whenever a SIM swop attempt is made. Customers who receive the SMS but have not requested a SIM swop should call the customer care line.

Some fraudsters have resorted to calling customers to try to either convince them to switch off their phones for an extended period of time or try and convince them to ignore the SMS from the network operator.

“We’ll never call our customers and ask them to switch off their cellphones unless they have requested assistance with a handset related issue that requires their cellphones to be switched off. So if they’ve not logged a fault with us, they should be suspicious of any requests to switch off their cellphone,” says Johan Van Graan, chief risk officer at Vodacom.

“If a customer receives an SMS notification indicating that they have requested a SIM swop, they should ignore any further communication and immediately contact Vodacom and we’ll take the necessary steps to protect them.”