Africa SIM card Fraud. Though not very common in some parts of Africa, has caused some stir in others.
SIM Card Fraud happens when someone switches your phone number over to a criminal’s SIM card. This requires cooperation between the criminals and carriers. They then divert your incoming SMS and use it to complete the text-based two-factor authentication checks that usually protect your most sensitive accounts, including social networks, financial services, webmail services, and instant apps.
Cape Town, South Africa held the Kaspersky Lab’s Annual Cyber Security Weekend a few days ago. During the forum, Kaspersky Lab experts discussed many topics related to cybersecurity, including this new wave of fraud that’s currently targeting financial services and online services in Africa.
The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), reports that this type of fraud doubled in South Africa Last year .
Mobile payment is commonly used in Africa because of its convenience, cost effectiveness and timeliness. However, Kaspersky Lab research finds that mobile payments and banking systems are suffering from the attack. As a result, many people lose their money.
These attacks are not only to steal credentials and capture OTPs via SMS but also to cause financial damage to their victims by resetting the accounts on financial services. It enables them to access the victims’ financial account including in banks, fintechs, and credit unions.
They also use it to get money via WhatsApp by contacting the victim’s contacts and ask for money.
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“Despite financial inclusion services prospering, the flip side to this is that it opens up a world of opportunities to cybercriminals and fraudsters.
The Africa SIM Card fraud uses the convenience a mobile phone offers to exploit and poke holes in two-factor authentication processes,” Fabio Assolini, Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab, explained.
He added, “Frauds using SIM swap are becoming common in Africa and the Middle East. Affecting countries like South Africa, Turkey, and UAE. Countries like Mozambique have experienced this firsthand.
To other parts of africa not yet experiencing this. It should serve as an eye opener to be for-armed.
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