Have You Heard of the SIM-Swap Scam? It's Making a Comeback

Be careful of scammers.

The so-called SIM swap scam is making a comeback and you should know what it is so you can be better prepared. 

On Sunday (October 31), Globe Telecom Inc. issued a warning to the public about the resurgence of the mobile phone scam. 

According to Globe, it involves a scammer first gathering personal information—including e-mails, bank account details, and trading information, among others—about a target individual.

The scammer will then pose as the victim and request for the temporary disconnection of the victim’s mobile phone line, citing the loss of the phone. He or she will personally go to a store to request for a new SIM card, presenting valid IDs and a notarized affidavit of loss to gain the new SIM card. 

When the scammer gets the new SIM, he or she can now use it to acquire the one-time pin (OTP) used by most financial apps and even social networking apps to grant access to their mobile apps. 

Scammers may also call pretending to be telco or bank representatives requiring some personal information and bank details in exchange for offers or perks.  

Globe said it urges its customers to “use strong and unique passwords for their digital accounts, change it regularly, and use other authentication methods such as security keys, applications, or device prompts.”

The company also advised users “not to share personal information such as birth dates, anniversary dates, TIN, school or company ID, passport details and other information on social media, as these may compromise a customer’s safety. Scammers and fraudsters may get the answer to your security questions from these details.”

Scammers can get information from bank statements, utility bills, delivery packages, and other documents that may often contain a person’s personal information. These can be used by scammers to perform identity theft.

Globe issued the warning after reports that the wife of an engineering company executive fell victim to the scam. Scammers reportedly were able to run off with roughly P1.7 million from 14 transactions to crypto trading platform Binance. 

The incident prompted Globe to implement “stricter measures to prevent unauthorized SIM change.”  

“For replacement of lost SIM, this includes 24-hour SIM reactivation to allow a stronger customer verification. Also, a notarized affidavit of loss is mandatory patterned with the banks which require the same document when replacing lost cards and other financial records,” Globe said. 

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