Telus’ flanker brand Public Mobile has temporarily disabled all online SIM swaps through self-serve to protect customers.
“Customer safety and security is our priority, and we are working on permanently securing the online SIM swap process,” the carrier wrote in its announcement post.
It seems that Public Mobile is working to improve its online SIM swap process to prevent further cases of SIM swapping fraud before enabling the service once again.
SIM swapping involves attackers swapping the SIM card attached to your account for one that they control. The attacker then gains access to any communications sent to your phone number.
Since many online services use phone numbers as a secondary authentication system, this type of fraud is quite dangerous. Cybercriminals can use SIM swapping to intercept messages and falsely verify themselves to access the victim’s personal banking, email and social media accounts.
Last month, Public Mobile published a detailed explanation of the fraud tactic after saying it noticed some cases of SIM card fraud. The carrier notes that a common way to spot SIM swap fraud is if your phone suddenly and inexplicably loses service.
Public Mobile states that its customers can check for SIM swap fraud by logging into their Self Serve account, clicking ‘Change SIM card’ and ensuring the SIM card number listed there matches the one in their phone. If it doesn’t, someone may have swapped your SIM card.
If you think this is the case, the carrier says customers should change their Self Serve account password and security questions to lock fraudsters out of their account. Next, customers should select the ‘lost/stolen’ option to cut off cell service and then use the carrier’s online tool to submit a ticket to restore service to the original SIM card.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and Canadian carriers are currently working to prevent SIM swap fraud. The CRTC and the telecoms have refused to detail their efforts, saying the information could help fraudsters if released.
Source: Public Mobile