‘SIM box’ fraud costing mobile operators millions — expert
by Mohammad Ghazal | Mar 08, 2012 | 22:29 Updated: Mar 08, 2012 | 22:29
BARCELONA — Mobile operators in Jordan lose millions each year as a result of “SIM box” fraud, according to Revector, a UK-based anti-fraud company.
“We detected SIM box fraud activities on the networks of all mobile operators in Jordan,” Revector CEO Andy Gent told The Jordan Times during the Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona held by the GSM Association (GSMA) last week.
“The government and mobile operators are losing revenues annually in Jordan because of these fraud activities. SIM box fraud is a global problem that is affecting operators worldwide,” he said during the conference, which concluded last Thursday.
SIM box fraud occurs when individuals or groups purchase SIM cards that offer free or low cost calls with the intent of using them for international calls.
Using various devices, the SIM cards are then used to channel long-distance or international calls away from mobile network operators and register them as local calls on their networks, costing operators significant losses in international phone call revenues, according to Gent.
“Mobile operators and regulators in the telecom sector should work together to prevent such fraud activities,” he said, adding that Revector is working with a mobile operator in Jordan to prevent SIM box fraud.
In 2011, one local mobile operator lost JD5 million as a result of “SIM box” fraud alone, while several Jordanians were arrested for being involved in the fraudulent usage of mobile SIM cards, according to the Public Security Department.
“The problem of SIM box fraud is growing and is one of the most serious threats to revenue and quality of service,” Gent said in the interview.
SIM box fraud is estimated to be costing mobile operators about $4.6 billion in losses annually, according to him.