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  1. ITV Report

Thieves use woman's Sim Card to steal £6,000

A Bristol woman lost £6,000 to internet fraudsters when they requested a new sim card in her name - then accessed her online banking.

Britain is increasingly becoming a cashless society, with over 80 million debit and credit cards cards now enabled for contactless technology.

But while many of us enjoy the convenience of shopping with plastic, it seems that crooks and fraudsters are finding even more opportunities to scam us out of our hard-earned cash.

Felicity Leath always uses her mobile to do her banking but just her phone suddenly lost all service before Christmas last year.

She rang provider EE who told here there was a problem with her sim card, and she needed to get a new one.

It was a bit inconvenient but, I walked into town that day to get a new sim card from an EE store and so I could continue using my phone and I logged into my online banking to see that £6,000 had been taken from my account.

– Felicity Leath
Felicity Leath was told a fraudster had accessed her phone account to get a new passcode for her online banking Credit: ITV

Felicity immediately contacted her bank NatWest to be told - not surprisingly - she had been the victim of fraud.

EE told her a fraudster had accessed her phone account, requested a new sim card and then used that to get a new passcode for her online banking.

I was really surprised that they were able to to get through security with the EE account, they usually ask you several questions including your password the account name and account number and they always ask that on every call whether that's just be to change something or an enquiry, so I was quite shocked.

– FELICITY LEATH
EE said they believe they do have good security Credit: ITV

And, when Felicity posted a warning about the sim-swap fraud on social media, she says she got a number of people commenting that she must have done something wrong.

Luckily in this case NatWest refunded the stolen amount and the bank say it was working to enhance its authentication processes as fraudsters become more sophisticated.

EE added they believe they do have good security, but on this occasion the fraudster had gathered enough of Felicity’s details to be able to deceive them.

£2.9b
The amount of money last year moved around a week using mobile apps.
£.5b
total of fraud losses to the banks on all UK cards.
18%
increase in fraud loss on the previous year.

The University of Bath is carrying out research about phone scammers, you can find more information on here.