Sky has introduced tough new security measures to protect its customers, which should make banking on-the-move more secure than ever before. Dubbed Fraud Protection Services, the system is designed to protect against a fraud attack method known as SIM Swap Fraud. This technique sees criminals scour social media or past data breaches to learn personal information about you – including your full name, bank details, home address, email address – before picking up the phone and calling your mobile phone operator and impersonating you.
If the scam works, the criminal will be able to convince the mobile carrier to send a new SIM card with the existing phone number. Once the criminal owns a SIM card linked with your mobile number, then the locks to a number of key services – like your personal bank – will begin to fall away. Some of the most sensitive services rely on two-factor authentication to secure your account.
This method protects against criminals with access to your username and password (if you’ve used the same email address / password combination for multiple accounts, this could be obtained from previous data breaches) from accessing your account as, in theory at least, they would also need access to your smartphone to receive the uniquely generated passcode. However, with your phone number stored on a new SIM sent-out from your mobile carrier, this barrier is removed.
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Sadly, the first time that a victim of SIM Swap Fraud learns about the scam is when their current mobile phone loses signal and stops working – as the mobile carrier assumes you’ve transitioned to the replacement SIM card sent out to the new address. Even then, some customers will blame the dead SIM card on a signal or network problem …rather than an ongoing hack that could see their bank account emptied.
As two-factor authentication becomes a requirement for more institutions, SIM Swap Fraud is on the rise in the UK. On average, SIM Swap Fraud victims lose £2,500.
The Fraud Protection Services system adopted by Sky Mobile shields against SIM Swap Fraud by carrying out background checks whenever two-factor authentication is used by your bank. This verifies whether your mobile carrier has recently replaced your SIM card. Fraud Protection Services is widely used by banks and businesses throughout the UK and globe.
Speaking about the implementation of the new fraud protection system, Sky Mobile Managing Director Paul Sweeney said: “With SIM swap fraud on the rise, it’s important to us that Sky Mobile customers are kept safe, which is why we’ve partnered with JT FPS to provide them with an additional level of protection and peace of mind.”