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20 February 2019, 11:14
Victims will often receive a text from their network provider posing as a customer service text.
A so-called 'SIM swap scam' is leaving victims at risk of having their bank accounts emptied by fraudsters.
The scam sees victims targeted by thieves who trick their mobile network provider into swapping their mobile number onto another SIM card.
Victims will often receive a text from their network provider posing as a customer service text. Upon calling back, another fake text message is sent from their banking provider asking to confirm registration to their online services.
This process means scam artists are able to steal six-digit verification codes sent by your bank when you attempt to set up new payments or transfer money online.
The one-time passcode is supposed to provide a second layer of security, also known as two-factor verification, however if you're not careful these can be intercepted.
At this point, opportunists will already have obtained enough information to access your bank account such as your username and password.
"Personal information, such as names, addresses and dates of birth, can be found easily on social media and online directories," says Mr Underhill.
"Fraudsters can also obtain these details by tricking people over text, email or phone. Security questions can also be easy to find out."
549 cases of Sim swap scams were reported to Action Fraud, the cybercrime reporting service, in the there years leading up to August 2018 - with the average lost being the average loss was around £4,000.