The West Vancouver police service is warning residents of SIM swap scams happening to several individuals, including one of its police officers.
The scam is when a fraudster pretends to be someone else and calls a service provider indicating they have either lost their phone or that their phone has been stolen.
The fraudster then links a new number to a new SIM card and device that they are then able to control.
The West Vancouver police indicated in a notice on its website that one of its officers “came very close to being defrauded of tens of thousands of dollars.”
“This is an emerging fraud tactic and one that leaves the victim feeling quite vulnerable,” Constable Kevin Goodmurphy said in the notice. “I can now speak from personal experience, and have learned that there are more protective measures that I could have implemented prior to my phone being compromised.”
The Ontario Provincial Police put out a very similar warning in November of the scam affecting several residents in Ontario.
Like the OPP, the WVPD provides tips to protect yourself from getting affected by this scam.
The tips include keeping personal information personal, not publishing your birthdate on social media, not answering the phishing emails that require you to confirm a password, using an offline password manager, contacting a phone provider to ask about additional security measures, and contacting your service provider immediately if you lose your phone.
Source: West Vancouver Police