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Kahawa Tungu: SIM Swap Fraud A Global Threat To Individuals And Institutions

Kahawa Tungu speaks about the global threat of SIM swap fraud

“SIM swap fraud has been termed as a global threat to institutions and individuals in a recent survey.

In the survey by mobile technology specialist Myriad Connect, 90 per cent of Kenya’s banking leaders have admitted that SIM swap fraud is a threatening issue for their organisations.

The firm states that over 25% (individuals and institutions) of the respondents in the survey had been victims of SIM swap fraud.

“SIM swap fraud is not limited to Africa. It is a growing global issue affecting even some of the most sophisticated technologies in the world,” says Willie Kanyeki, Myriad Connect Director Business Development – Africa.

In South Africa, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) reported that the incidence of SIM swap fraud has more than doubled in the past year.

In US, an entrepreneur Michael Terpin is suing AT&T over an alleged SIM swap that resulted in millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency tokens being stolen from his account.

In another incident, e-sports star Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng said he lost $200,000 (Ksh20 million)in cryptocurrency in a SIM swap attack.

“A SIM swap, in which criminals manage to get a replacement SIM for a mobile number that does not belong to them, allows the new SIM to supersede the existing one, and gives criminals access to the legitimate user’s information and accounts,” says Kanyeki.

This compromises the victim’s online banking, cryptocurrency or digital financial service accounts and gives SIM swap fraudsters access to all the victim’s online accounts, including email and all social media accounts.

In addition to financial losses, this presents the risk of reputational damage and the exposure of sensitive data, and once fraudsters control a user’s accounts, regaining control of them can be complex.”

Read the full story on Kahawa Tungu here.

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