Woman accused of using SIM swapping to steal funds from Durham resident’s bank account

Woman accused of using SIM swapping to steal funds from Durham resident’s bank account

Police are searching for a woman who allegedly stole funds from a Durham Region resident’s bank account through SIM swapping.

Last March, a suspect went to three TD banks in Mississauga and allegedly impersonated the victim, police said.

“The suspect took control of the victim’s cell phone number by SIM swap, and used the phone number to receive passcodes from the bank’s two-factor authentication,” police allege in a news release on Thursday.

As a result, the suspect was allegedly able to transfer money out of the victim’s bank account into another account.

On Thursday, police released photos of the suspect, described as a female between 50 and 60 years old, five-foot-three, with long black hair and wearing glasses.

Investigators ask anyone who can identify the suspect to contact them at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5371 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), SIM swapping involves scammers pretending to be the victim to gain access to their mobile account and may claim that the phone has been lost or stolen.

A new SIM will be linked to your phone number as well as another device that the scammer controls.

“The fraudster then downloads a series of the most popular and most attractive applications. They will select the ‘Forgot Password’ button on all applications. If an account is associated to your phone number or email address, the fraudster will receive a verification code. They will then use this code to confirm ownership of the account, create their own password and take over the accounts,” CAFC said, adding that scammers could then empty bank accounts, apply for credit in the victim’s good name and impersonate the victim to defraud their entire contact list.

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