SIM swap scam leads Freedom customer to lose more than $140,000

Six months after the incident, Wayne Stork told Global news he's waiting on compensation from Freedom

Wayne and Diana Stork were at home last September when a SIMP swap scam changed their lives forever.

The scam involves fraudsters contact service providers and fool them into transferring a victim’s number onto a SIM card in their possession. The move leaves the original SIM owner with no access to their service.

That’s exactly what happened to the couple, according to reporting from Global News. Wayne, a long-time Freedom Mobile customer, noticed his phone was deactivated, only leaving him access to SOS calls.

Over the next day, fraudsters drained various accounts, including stock trading and cryptocurrency accounts, under Wayne’s name.

A good portion of the stolen money was associated with his Wealthsimple account: $5,500 in CIBC stock, more than $6,000 in shares at Canadian Western Bank, and a TFSA account with $15,100.

But the biggest hit was losing $140,000 worth of bitcoin through a separate account with Coinbase.

“That’s our retirement, that’s our money,” Wayne told Global News.

The couple looked to Freedom for answers. The service provider told them someone claiming to be Wayne had obtained a new SIM card from a retail location in Toronto.

Thankfully, Wealthsimple acknowledged Wayne wasn’t at fault and refunded the stolen money. That wasn’t the case with the stolen Bitcoin.

He has raised frustration with Freedom for its delay in providing him compensation six months after the fact.

In a statement to Global News, the service provider said they’ve been in touch with the customer to resolve the issue.

“The security of our customers’ information is and will always be a priority to us. SIM swaps are an industry-wide issue, and Freedom Mobile is actively working to prevent them from happening,” Freedom said.

Source: Global News

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