NAIROBI, KENYA: SIM swap fraud has plagaued mobile users across Africa for years, with Myriad Connect’s recent survey in Kenya revealing that over 90 percent of Kenyan banking leaders see it as an issue for their organisations and over 25 percent of respondents had been victims of SIM swap fraud. While in South Africa, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) reported recently that the incidence of SIM swap fraud has more than doubled in the past year.
Despite the scam plaguing mobile phone users across Africa for years, Myriad Connect says recent incidents of Americans falling prey to SIM swap fraudsters as evidence of the worldwide danger the trap poses.
“But SIM swap fraud is not limited to Africa,” says Willie, Myriad Connect Director Business Development – Africa. “It is a growing global issue affecting even some of the most sophisticated technologies in the world.” Willie cites recent examples such as the case in which US entrepreneur Michael Terpin is suing AT&T over an alleged SIM swap that resulted in millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency tokens being stolen from his account; and another incident in which esports star Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng said he lost $200,000 in cryptocurrency in a SIM swap attack.
Recent research among leading financial services CIOs in Kenya found that 87 percent of financial services providers deploy OTP via SMS to protect transactions, and consumer research indicates that 71 percent of consumers have used services that use OTP via SMS to authenticate financial service transactions.